Ken McDonald on WKU’s 2011 class

17 11 2010

As most have heard by now, Western Kentucky officially announced the signing of five players to its 2011 recruiting class.

All five players – 6-3 shooting guard Derrick Gordon of Plainfield, N.J. (Rivals’ 135th best player in the country), 6-6 forward George Fant of Warren Central High School, 6-8 power forward Vinny Zollo of George Rogers Clark High School, 6-5 forward Nigel Snipes of Marietta, Ga. and 6-11 center Deng Leek of Greensboro, N.C. – are rated by Rivals.com as three-star athletes.

The lone commitment that didn’t sign during this past week’s Early Signing Period was four-star point guard Cezar Guerrero.

It is unclear whether or not Guerrero has intentions on signing during the regular signing period in April, or whether or not WKU will continue to pursue him. WKU coach Ken McDonald is prohibited by NCAA rule to comment on unsigned players, while Guerrero has declined to return several phone calls made by the Daily News.

In any event, here’s what McDonald had to say this evening about the class in general:

“With the seniors that we have, it’s important that we addressed the various positions that we needed to fill going forward and the staff did a great job. I really wanted to focus on young talent for the future and good character kids that took school seriously.

“I think we made some major strides, we’ve got five high school kids that are talented across the board – good toughness, good talent, good character and I couldn’t be more excited.”

“They’re all skilled enough to skill the basketball and we’ve got a true center, which doesn’t come very often with a kid like Deng. Every guy can shoot the ball, Vinny Zollo is my kind of four-man who can stretch the defense. Nigel Snipes is very skilled and really in the (Sergio Kerusch) mode, great smile. George is a talented, mis-match kind of guy who is a great kid. We’ve known him since the day we took the job. We love him and his family, and I think he has a ton of potential to really do whatever he wants on the Hill.

“And Derrick Gordon has been a Hilltopper through and through for a long time, and we’re just glad he finished it out.”

“That’s hard, a lot of kids have so-called experts in their ears and it’s tough because of the distance,” he said of Gordon. “Sometimes these kids go through moments where they believe a friend or another AAU coach or a high school coach and it’s hard to know what’s being said. It seems like you’re combating that throughout the process.

“So for him to stay with it, is very exciting. He’s one of those guys with a really hard-nosed, hard hat mentality,” “Obviously he’s at a different position, but you look at him and I think he could really end up being like a (Steffphon Pettigrew). A real fan-favorite that just plays so hard and you always know what you’ll get from him.”

“They like each other, they see what an amazing place Western Kentucky is and they’ve jumped on board. They’re excited about the continuity they bring and the future they bring to the program – and hopefully that’s what the fans are excited about as well.”

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