If it seems like it's been a while since Royce Woolridge committed to Kansas, well that's because it has been. Since committing to Kansas during the spring of his sophomore year, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Phoenix (Ariz.) Sunnyslope has been counting down the days until he is officially a Jayhawk.
This afternoon, Woolridge will finally make things official when he signs his national letter of intent.
"I'm extremely excited, I can't wait," said Woolridge of making things official. "It was like two years ago that I committed, it seems like I've been waiting forever. I'm just excited that it's finally going to happen."
While some committed players from around the country are waiting until Thursday to sign because school is out, Woolridge wants to get it over with. It's going to be a double special day for him because he's got a best friend signing to play baseball at Arizona and he's looking to celebrate their success.
"We don't have school but I'm still going in to sign at 11 in the morning," said Woolridge. "My best friend is going to play baseball for Arizona and I'm going to go over to his house for his signing after I'm done. It's pretty awesome."
Having committed so early, one might wonder if Woolridge ever second guessed his decision. Even if he didn't get the chance to be wined and dined, he says that he wouldn't have had it any other way.
"It's Kansas Jayhawk basketball, there'es nothing better than that," Woolridge told Phog.Net. "Nobody else could have compared to Kansas. I'm so glad that they gave me an opportunity to commit to them so early. I wouldn't have been able to look anywhere else after that. They are the best, like in the world. I don't look back. I just look forward."
An official visit to Lawrence for Late Night in the Phog only strengthened the way Woolridge feels about signing with Bill Self's squad.
"That just makes me so excited to want to come there next year and play. It's ridiculous. When I went there for my visit and played with them, I was so excited. I just wanted to be there now," said Woolridge of being around the team. "I can't wait to get there and focus on my game. After being there, I feel like my game will fit. I can't wait to get there and do my job and to help the Kansas Jayhawks win a national title. After they win one this year of course."
While he's been committed for some time, the well built scoring guard hasn't stopped working on his game. Well known for his ability to put up big numbers, he's been working to be more complete and improve his explosion.
"I've really been working on two things, my off the ball dribble moves and my bounce," said Woolridge of the areas he's been focusing on. "Like when I catch the ball on the wing I've been working on my jab fakes and exploding into my moves and things like that. With my bounce, I'm going between the legs with dunks and other big things. I've really improved there."
Woolridge was also careful to make sure that he pointed out how important people like his mother, his high school coach Dan Mannix and summer coach Kenny Mullins have been to his development.
"(Their support) is a huge role, they are the ones who make me keep going and keep me playing," said Woolridge. "Without them I wouldn't have the love for the game that I do. I would give everything to them. They are there to motivate me every day."
As excited as he is to make his arrival in Lawrence, Woolridge still has his senior season of high school basketball. As a leader of his team, he wants to make sure that they finish things out strong and he's pretty juiced about the crew he'll be hitting the floor with.
"Our team looks really good, we have some big men that look good," said Woolridge. "We've got a big football player and a couple of other big basketball players. I think we can win state this year if we focus on our goals and don't joke around. Honestly, my personal goal is for us to win state."