Kuksiks Opts For Western Experience

Rihards Kuksiks, one of true sleepers in the Class of 2007, signed papers with Herb Sendek's crew Wednesday afternoon.

Arizona State's 15th ranked recruiting class just got a little deeper.

Rihards Kuksiks, a Latvian born small forward out Melbourne (Fla.) Florida Air Academy, cast his lot with the Sun Devils over St. John's and Virginia Tech Wednesday afternoon.

Officially, there were no media members present but that didn't stop the entire Florida Air team from holding an impromptu mock press conference for Kuksiks.

"The kids took a microphone and started asking him questions," coach Aubin Goporo said. "There was nobody around. I'd never seen anything like it. It was fun.

"I asked him questions in front of his teammates and he said he wanted to go to Arizona State. His teammates acted liked reporters and started questioning him. He said that he thought he would play more minutes at Arizona State and thought it was a good fit."

The 4.0 student has a reputation for being an all-around good player. What he's lacking is a national reputation. The closest he came to breaking out was during a September evaluation clinic in Tampa. However, with enough media members present to help his cause, Kuksiks injured himself in the first quarter of the first game and continued to stay below the radar.

"The kid is a smart player. He shoots it very well, he's very athletic and he knows how to come off screens."

Arizona State's recruiting class began the day at No. 15 and could move up slightly this afternoon.

Goporo mentioned that he's got another under the radar recruit up his sleeve. Senior point guard Jerome Burgos, another 4.0 student, is still unsigned. Auburn peaked at him early. "He's strong like a football player and he's a floor general. He's a true point guard."

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