Tallahassee Community College forward Marvell Waithe wanted to announce his collegiate choice on his birthday Wednesday, but took an extra day just to make sure he made the right one.
Waithe committed to the University of Arkansas Thursday night over another scholarship offer from Rutgers, giving the Razorbacks their third commitment of the 2010 class.
"I just felt more comfortable with choosing Arkansas," said Waithe, who was the 2006 Mr. Basketball in Canada before going to prep school for two years. "In terms of playing the way I wanted to play and the team it was a perfect fit, really. I just felt I couldn't go wrong with Arkansas. The way they'll use me and how they want me to play my game, I can relate the way I played at TCC with the SEC, so that's what I told them.
"It was difficult because I love Rutgers…It's close to home up north, but what Arkansas is trying to do and what I'm trying to do fit well and that's where I had to go."
Waithe averaged 18.9 points and 8.6 rebounds for TCC last season as a small forward. He said his height allows him to create mismatches at that position.
"It gives me a great advantage because I feel like I can utilize mismatches well," Waithe said. "I feel like I'm a smart enough basketball player to go inside and go outside and be able to take advantage of my size, and I can really do that. Coach (John) Pelphrey saw a 6-8, 6-9 guy that plays well at that position and create mismatch problems so I just feel that they can use me coming into next season.
"Seeing the personnel there, knowing what I can do and the way they explained what they need me for put it over the top."
Waithe joins 2009 Arkansas signees Jemal Farmer and Delvon Johnson as players to commit to the Razorbacks from a junior college.
"You're more mature. Instead of getting a freshman in your program you're getting somebody more seasoned and more developed, somebody that is ready to step in right away," Waithe said of JUCO transfers. "That's what I see myself as, I see myself as ready to step in right away. I think a lot of junior college players are similar to that because they've already experienced college basketball. It really does help."
Another junior college player Arkansas is targeting is one of Waithe's current rivals, power forward Ricardo Ratliffe of Central Florida Community College.
"Ricardo Ratliffe is a great basketball player," Waithe said of a player that averaged 26.8 points per game as a freshman. "Last year he did really well against us in both games. They beat us once and we beat them once. We're No. 1 in Florida and they're No. 2, I think. We'll play each other again this year twice and he's just a beast. I hope he does come to Arkansas. I really do."
Well Worth the Waithe
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