ANOTHER INTRIGUING point guard is being mentioned as a potential pick up for Washington State's hoops team, which is in need of shoring up at that position following the departure of talented backup Xavier Thames. The newest name being floated as a potential Coug hails from Marcus Capers country. However, he's spent the past two years at Missouri so wouldn’t be eligible until the 2011-12 season.
With two scholarship spots open and pressing needs in the post and at the point, the case for 6-1, 172-pound Miguel Paul winding up in Pullman would seem thin for the simple reason that this transfer from Missouri can’t help out immediately.
Nonetheless, Paul’s father Masha told Brandt Merritt of The Ledger – Paul’s hometown newspaper just outside Tampa – that his son has a solid list of options, including WSU, Oregon, Georgia, Central Florida and St. John’s. Coming out of Winter Haven's Kathleen High in 2008, he chose Missouri over offers from Clemson, Wichita State and St. John’s.
Paul was a second-team Florida Class 4A All-State that season, while Capers, 50 miles north in Monteverde, was third-team Class 2A All-State.
Masha Paul said he expects his son to make a decision within two weeks. He also told The Ledger, in a report that came out Tuesday, that his son wants the chance to run an offense, which wasn’t likely to happen at Missouri because of the style of offense, which rotates players continuously and doesn’t rely on one point guard.
That comment would seem to further reduce the case for Paul coming to Washington State, because Reggie Moore looks to be firmly ensconced as WSU’s No. 1 PG for three more years.
As a Missouri freshman in 2008-09, Paul played in all 38 games for the Tigers, who advanced to the Elite Eight. He was among the team leaders in assists and steals while averaging 11.4 minutes per game. This past season, in which the Tigers lost in the second round of the NCAA Tourney to West Virgina, Paul averaged 12.1 minutes per game and was fourth on the team in assists with 52. Prospects for him gaining more PT next season weren't good, according to published reports.
In a Facebook posting, Paul was thoughtful in talking about his decision to leave Mizzou. “I just feel this decision is in the best interest of me and my family. I love Missouri. I love my teammates, the coaches and the fans. My teammates at Mizzou will always be like my brothers and I wouldn’t trade these two years for anything. I wish everyone here all the best,” he wrote.
Coming out of high school he had the reputation for excellent scoring skills, but his unselfish play and deft passing made him the consummate team player. He was 3-star prospect rated among the top 15 prep PGs in the nation.
Paul was the second point guard prospect linked to WSU in a published report on Tuesday. Johnathan Loyd, a senior from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, was reported by the Las Vegas Sun to have received an offer from WSU in the last two weeks. The 5-9 speedster has already tripped to Northwestern and is said to be looking to take his final two trips from among WSU, Michigan State, Florida, Oklahoma, George Washington, SMU and Creighton.