Ervin: Still Miss. St.

FITCHBURG, Mass. -- Gary Ervin has a somewhat dubious decision-making history. Even he will admit that. Mount Zion, St. Thomas More or Notre Dame? Arizona or Mississippi State? So it only makes sense to check up on the Brooklyn point guard.

"Mississippi State," he said Wednesday afternoon during a break in the preseason pickup at Notre Dame. "It's a done deal. No other colleges are calling or sending letters. It's done."

The 5-11 Ervin is the top talent on Bill Barton's Notre Dame team this year, even with plenty of other DI-caliber talents, including Boston SG/PG Will Blaylock, Chicago PF/C Reggie George and Montreal (via Jersey) PF Franz Dorsainvil.

According to Barton, he's been a model citizen and teammate, too -- in spite of what is by now an unfair rep that continues to dog him.

"He's been all positive," the coach said. "I'm got nothing but good things to say about Gary Ervin. I've got nothing but good things to say about him."

Which shouldn't come as a surprise, really -- at least for those who have been paying attention over the course of the last year.

Ervin posted a spectacular senior year at Brooklyn's Robeson High School, a season in which he averaged 30 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, won PSAL Player of the Year honors and led his team to a spot in the PSAL finals at Madison Square Garden.

But folks wondered whether or not he was actually a point guard. So what did Ervin do? He showed little but poise and leadership last summer while traveling the Nike circuit with Kenny Pretlow's 17-and-under Riverside Church squad.

He continued his strong play with the fabled New York City club this past weekend at the Five-Star team camp at Drexel University, in Philadelphia, where Howard Garfinkel and Company tabbed him as the event's Most Outstanding Player.

"Mr. Garfinkel told me he hasn't seen a better guard this year," Ervin said. "He's been around a long time. He must know what he's talking about."

Ervin, for one, is more than ready to agree with the Five-Star legend.

"I don't pay attention to the (recruiting) rankings," he said. "They're not the truth. I go up against people and do work on them and I still see them higher than me. But I know I'm better than everybody out there."

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