Ford has Favorite

The junior point guard from Diamond Bar, Khalif Ford, said he has a clear leader for his services. He also said he could commit fairly early, but wants "to hold out" from making too early of a commitment...

Khalif Ford, 6-0 JR PG, Diamond Bar (Calif.) High, has a clear leader for his services in Oregon.

"I really like Oregon," Ford said, "They're my favorite right now."

Ford, who averaged 18 points and 6 assists as a junior, said he also likes USC, UCLA and UNLV. He said that Oregon, USC, UNLV and Colorado State had offered him a scholarship.

Oregon's head coach, Ernie Kent, visited Ford at his high school during the recent contact period and Ford said the visit went great. "Coach Kent seemed very positive and down-to-Earth. He's the type of coach I'm looking for, a guy you could have a good relationship with, who's just not there when you play or practice, but talks to you. When Coach Kent visited, that's when he offered me." Nebraska, UNLV, and Colorado State also visited him during the contact period.

Ford is still recovering from athroscopic surgery on his knee. He said he had been feeling a twinge of pain in it since last summer and a recent MRI showed that there was a piece of cartilage irritating the knee. Being out right now will force him to miss traveling with his Rockfish AAU team to the prestigious Bob Gibbons' Tournament in North Carolina this weekend. "It's pretty disappointing," he said. "But I'll be back in three weeks starting to work out. So I'm really concentrating on that."

In the next month, while he's recovering, he said he does have an unofficial visit planned. "My high school team is going to UNLV for a team camp, so I'll visit UNLV, on June 14th." Other than that, Ford said he doesn't have any other plans for visits, unofficial or official.

Ford said he's contemplating an early commitment. "I've been thinking about making a decision soon after July, after the camps and tournaments," he said. "You never really know what could happen. I'd like to take some trips, because you don't want to get into something you really don't know about, but I'd to do it right after the tournaments and then maybe make a decision. I think I might be tempted to commit before then but I want to try to hold out until then."

The point guard said a big factor in his decision will be the atmosphere around the program. "The coach, the coaching, the camaraderie with the team. I think I've found that with Oregon."

He has a 3.1 GPA and scored a 980 on his SAT.

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