Heels continue to pursue Ariza

<i>IC</i>'s Clint Jackson spoke with Trevor Ariza, and his mother, to find out the latest on the Los Angeles junior wing.

They say mama knows best.

Lolita Ariza knows the low down on her son's recruitment. And while the Ariza family has had to change their phone numbers several times this year -- we finally we're able to catch up with them and see what's new with the recruiting scene. And, of course, mama had the scoop.

Four schools loom in the lead pack for Trevor, a versatile and athletic forward from Westchester High School in Los Angeles. Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Indiana.

"I think those are the four in the picture right now," says Lolita. "And you know -- mama knows the deal."

Trevor confirms his mom's information on the other line and adds that Duke and Kentucky could also creep up into that pack.

"Those are the four, but my list isn't closed for sure," he added.

That list may not be closed, but at least here's a dilemma that just may be.

There has been much confusion as to which AAU team that her son was going to play on this season, and they finally put the rumors to rest. Would it be the Belmont Shore squad that he ran with last summer, or the infamous Pump Brothers' powerful squad alongside 6-11 David Padgett, or could it be Sports Express, who recently played at the Boo Williams Nike event?

"He's going to go with the Pump Brothers," said Ms. Ariza. "Sometimes you just have to make the best decision for your future," she added. "And we think this is the best one he can make this year. He can't afford to get with a team that gets knocked out in the first round. He's got to be seen more and get more time in front of the coaches and stuff."

Most coaches already know full well Ariza's skills on the hardwood and that's why just about every major college program has either offered him a scholarship or is recruiting him with persistence.

"All sixteen of the sweet sixteen teams in the tournament are recruiting Trevor," boasted his mother. And all four of the leaders have offered a scholarship, according to Trevor.

"I think they all have, I mean they've all told me in some way that there's a scholarship waiting for me, so that sounds like an offer to me," he noted.

In particular, North Carolina is still VERY active in their pursuit of the 6-8, 200 pound combo-forward. Ariza told us that Coach Matt Doherty was on hand personally to watch him work out on his last day of practice in the open period. But Doherty was also joined by two other coaches in Florida's Billy Donovan and Anthony Grant -- who are obviously putting the full Gator blitz on him as well.

As to a leader, Ariza isn't tipping his hand just yet, but our sources say that the guys from Gainesville could be tough to beat on this one.

In addition, there's some good news for Tar Heel fans who plan on attending the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions: Ariza says he'll be there with David Padgett (another Tar Heel target) and the boys of Pump N' Run.

Related Links:
IC's Trevor Ariza profile - archived coverage, with photos, videos and more.

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