Leunen Waiting on Options

One of the most intriguing players on the west coast, skilled combo forward <b>Maarty Leunen</b> from Oregon, has some very good offers, but is waiting on four schools -- Kansas, UCLA, Duke and Arizona -- before he makes a decision...

Maarty Leunen, 6-8 SR PF/SF, Richmond (Ore.) High, has shown here that he's an intriguing player. With offensive skills like a small forward, able to step out and hit his jumper, but with a body that could easily put on more muscle and defend the four, Leunen is the versatile type of four that would fit perfectly into Ben Howland's system.

On Wednesday, Leunen said he was just happy to be at the Nike All-America Camp, and to compete with a new level of player. "It's a lot different. Shots you normally get you just can't get. Everyone is just more athletic and bigger and more physical. It's a new experience. And it really helps you to work on your weaknesses and show what you have."

As for recruiting, Leunen has a pretty clear plan. He has four schools that have offered him that are recruiting him pretty hard: California, Oregon, Oregon State and Gonzaga. But there are four more schools that haven't offered that have shown interest – Kansas, Arizona, UCLA and Duke. "Those other four are looking at me, calling me and talking to me. I'll have to see after summer what their level of interest is in me. So, I'll wait until after all this and see what happens."

Leunen said he would wait to see what schools have offered post-summer and then plan his official visits accordingly. "I haven't set up an visits because I want to wait and see who'll be interested."

He has, though, visited the four schools that have offered unofficially. "I liked them all," he said. "They were each a little different. You have Cal that is in the big city. Then you have Gonzaga, the smaller school, in Spokane, where that's their only sports team really. So they really support it. Oregon and Oregon State were really nice, too."

He said he'd always thought he'd prefer the small-town college atmosphere, but now is open to the big city experience. While that isn't a big factor in his decision, he said two other factors are. "To get a good education first of all. Then it's definitely a place where I'll be comfortable since I'll be there for four years. I need to like the coach and the players. Just to make it enjoyable."

Growing up he said his favorite schools were UCLA and Michigan, but "that won't play a big part" in his decision, he said.

Leunen has a 3.45 GPA and scored a 960 SAT.


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