Phillips undecided on Wolf Pack hoops

Phillips undecided on Wolf Pack

BY DARRELL MOODY

As I chronicled earlier this week, Nevada has offered a basketball scholarship to Ahyari Phillips from Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia.

Phillips has been getting serious attention from several East Coast schools, including Duquesne, James Madison and East Carolina.

Phillips visited James Madison earlier this week, and is on a visit to Duquesne this weekend.

According to his coach, Fletcher Arritt, Phillips won't make a decision until he has made all his visits.

Arritt spent about 15 minutes telling me what a great athlete that Phillips was and some of the hardships the youngster had endured. The 6-foot-7, 200-pound power forward was a victim of Hurricane Katrina, which forced his family to leave New Orleans and relocate to Virginia a couple of years ago.

Phillips averaged a double-double last season at Fork Union, according Arritt.

"He's a great jumper," Arritt said. "Four or five times during a game, he'll grab a rebound well above the rim.

"He's a slashing 3-4 guy. He can score inside. He rebounds the ball very well. That might be the best thing that he does."

It will be interesting to see if Nevada waits for Phillips to make a decision, or if the Pack opts to go in a different direction with its last scholarship.

Arritt said he was impressed with Nevada head coach Mark Fox and assistant Doug Novsek, who saw Phillips at an AAU tournament.

"He (Fox) is a guy that anybody could play for," Arritt said. "He has done a good job at Nevada."

Stay tuned. Phillips could have a decision early this week.

Nevada's recruiting class has been rated in the Top 25 by a couple of recruiting Web sites mainly because of the additions of Galena's Luke Babbitt and Washington sharpshooter Mark McLaughlin.

Nevada already added 6-foot-8 Dario Hunt from Goldsboro, N.C., to its squad, and still needs another big man.

Right now, Nevada has Richie Phillips, Matt LaGrone, Babbitt and Hunt on its frontline.

Richie Phillips has been hampered by injuries his entire Nevada career, and he's still a bit on the unknown side. LaGrone is a battler, but doesn't give Nevada a lot of offense, though Fox has said many times he's worried more about defense and rebounding at that position.

This already promises to be one of the smaller groups that Fox has put on the floor, but it might be the most athletic group he's had during his tenure as the Pack's head coach.

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