Corey Stokes lists Big East favorites

Corey Stokes, one of the elite guards nationally in the junior class, lists a pair of Big East schools as his favorite. He's got offers from a host of programs, including Louisville. Which two schools lead for the athletic New Jersey wing?

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- While most of the Big East continues to court him aggressively, two programs have moved to the top of the list for highly regarded Class of 2007 wing Corey Stokes.

After scoring 10 points in St. Benedict's Thursday night victory over Eastern Commerce H.S. of Toronto, Ont., the 6-5, 215 pound junior said that Connecticut and Villanova are his top two choices.

"They've shown me a lot of interest," Stokes said. "They've come to a lot of my games and shown me a lot of love, so I feel as though they're the top two schools."

Stokes said that he's been offered scholarships by Villanova, UConn, Seton Hall, Rutgers and Louisville. He also said he's considering Georgetown, Pittsburgh, St. John's, Syracuse, Marquette and Florida, but it's clear that the other programs on his list have considerable ground to make up.

Stokes said he is slated to visit UConn for their March 3rd game against Louisville, and he didn't rule out taking in a Villanova game before the end of the college basketball season. St. Benedict's season will be over on Feb. 22.

"I could see him taking a couple of visits before the [college] season ends, and maybe have a decision before the summer," St. Benedict's Head Coach Dan Hurley said.

Because he already has a PSAT score in tow, Stokes is eligible to take official visits as a junior. Both Villanova and UConn are close enough to take in on an unofficial basis, and Stokes said he visited the Main Line twice back in the fall.

"I'd like to make a decision during the [spring] AAU season," he said. "I like both of the schools, so I just have to see which is the best one for me."

Blessed with a rugged frame and deft shooting stroke, Stokes is strong enough to post up other perimeter players, yet skilled enough to slay opponents with daggers beyond the arc.

"He's a prototypical two," opined Coach Hurley. "He's big enough to play the three but he has natural two guard skills."

"He shoots it great, has a good build and can handle well enough to possibly play some combo guard," he added.

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