Saturday morning featured hundreds of players from the Greater Houston area and beyond for the…
The lowdown on WSU hoops visitor this weekend
Graham Woodward, a Class of 2013 point guard prospect out of Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, will be in town this weekend on an official visit to WSU. The 5-11, 185-pound point guard holds 14 offers including full rides from Montana, Princeton, Brown, Yale, Northeastern, Cal Poly and several others. The Cougs have not offered, though the fact they're bringing him in on an official could be a prelude to extending him a full ride. WSU isn't the only in-state program that has him on their radar. Minnesota Pump N Run (AAU) head coach Jeremy Miller said he thinks Penn State could offer soon and that Gonzaga is recruiting Woodward the hardest right now. Miller, who knows the in and outs of college basketball recruitment, is no stranger to Washington State and who has 14 years of coaching experience, said Boston College and Nebraska are also in constant communication with the point guard who is under-the-radar no more. "He's pretty new to the (recruiting) scene," Miller said. "He's really good with the ball in his hands and all summer no one was able to stop him from getting to his jumper. The smaller schools have been on him for a while, but I think the higher level schools really started taking notice of him after his performance in Las Vegas." WSU HAS BEEN closely following Woodward since last season, Miller said, with assistant coach Ben Johnson running the recruiting point, Johnson has been in contact with Miller regarding recruits for the past 4-5 years and has made a lasting impression among coaches in the North Star State, according to Miller. "He has a hand on the pulse of Minnesota basketball," Miller said. "I have kids at Oregon and have had kids recruited by Stanford, but he is the best, bar none. Coach Bone has flown into Minnesota on recruiting trips as well. They have a great staff out there and Washington State is lucky to have those guys." Woodward has developed a strong relationship with both Johnson and Bone and it's a key reason why WSU is among his top choices, Miller said. "They're definitely one of his favorites and I put that on the job Coach Johnson and Coach Bone have done," Miller said. "When they were on their tour of Australia, they were reaching out to him. They were putting in the work from Down Under. It's going to come down to a couple of schools, but I can tell you that Washington State will be one of them." THE CATALYST FOR the increase in recruiting attention and extended offers was a result of Woodward's performance in Pump N Run's (AAU team) semifinal run in the Las Vegas' Adidas Super 64 event in late July. Indeed, the phone hasn't stopped ringing since, said Miller. The Gonzaga coaching staff will travel to Minnesota next week for an in home visit, Woodward will then travel to Penn State on Sept. 22 for an official and is the process of planning a trip to Minnesota in October, said Miller. As a junior last season, Woodward averaged 22 ppg for Edina High (Edina is in Minnesota's Lake conference, which Miller said is the best division in the state.) Although Woodward doesn't hold a WSU offer headed into his trip to the Palouse, Miller said he's hopeful that will change over the weekend and that Woodward's work ethic and passion for the game will stick out to the Wazzu staff. "His game is predicated on his toughness," Miller said. "He's a gym rat. "His teammates love him because they know of the hard work he puts in. He's one of the hardest working kids I've ever been around." That toughness and drive has allowed Woodward to become a very diverse scorer. "His best offensive attribute is his jumper," Miller said. "He shoots the ball at a very high rate and mixes it in with his floater. He can also shoot from deep and is dangerous with his pull up shot."
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