By Roman Veytsman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 8, 2004
Point guard Prince set on playing for Olson next fall
"Point guard U" has lived up to its name once again, as the UA men's basketball team received a verbal commitment from marquee prospect J.P. Prince, a 6-foot-6 point guard set to enroll in fall 2005.
Hailing from Memphis, Tenn., Prince, a top-five point guard prospect by multiple recruiting boards, is yet another high profile player that head coach Lute Olson nabbed from out of state.
The tall and lanky Prince reminds some of his older cousin, Detroit Piston swingman Tayshaun Prince. At 183 pounds, he's projected to play either point guard or small forward at Arizona.
"He's versatile," said William Warren, Prince's head coach at White Station High School. "He has no problem playing alongside Mustafa Shakur for a few years."
The 2005 recruiting class nears completion as Prince is joined by forwards Marcus Williams, Fendi Onobun, Jermichael Finley and guard Corey Hall. Prince's versatility will benefit him because highly touted point guard Nic Wise from Houston has committed for 2006.
But that didn't faze Prince who "fell in love with Arizona," Warren said. "It was the best visit he's been on. He felt very comfortable. He loved the coaching staff, the players, and he really liked coach Olson."
Prince - who plays for Memphis Pump and Run - was sought after by many East Coast schools including Vanderbilt, which is close to home for him. "He gave them great consideration," said Warren. "It helped that Arizona has a proven track record with point guards, and he knows that the program will be on top."
With Vanderbilt making the Sweet 16 last year, the Commodores were the popular choice for the fans in Tennessee and maybe for his parents who want to see their son play, Warren said.
"They want to do what's best for J.P.," said Warren about Prince's decision to head west to play for Olson. "The only knock on Arizona was location."
Warren added that if it weren't for location, Arizona would have been the overwhelming favorite.