Men's Hoops Signs Three On Wednesday
Nov. 8, 2006
First-year head coach Herb Sendek has announced that James Harden (Artesia High School/Lakewood, Calif.), Jamelle McMillan (O'Dea High School/Seattle, Wash.) and Kraidon Woods (The Hill School/Pottstown, Pa.) signed letters-on-intent with the Arizona State men's basketball program Wednesday and are expected to join the Sun Devil program in the fall of 2007. Scout.com has ranked the ASU class as 15th-best in the nation.
'Our staff worked extremely hard and was passionate in its efforts to sign top-notch players in our first fall signing class, and the hard work paid off in the form of not only great players, but solid student-athletes who play for great programs,' notes Coach Sendek, who will enter his 14th season as a head coach in 2006-2007. 'They will join a good group of young players next fall that our fans should be excited about watching. To sign players from great prep basketball areas is a great step for our program.'
Harden exploded on the summer scene and averaged 18.8 points, 7.7 boards and 3.5 assists last year in leading Artesia to the CIF Southern Section and Division III state title. Artesia went 33-1 last year as Harden shot 243-of-411 (.591) from the floor and led the team with 104 steals. He is ranked as the top player in California and the fourth-best shooting guard in the nation by Rivals.com, which also ranks him 18th overall. Scout.com ranks him the 15th-best player in the country. He is a fourth-team All-American by Street & Smith's, which ranks Artesia as the third-best team in the nation entering this season.
'James is a great competitor, a natural scorer and has excelled against some great competition,' notes Coach Sendek. 'He really attacks the basket and is excited about helping us build the program. Every time we saw him this summer he seemed to get better. He works on his game a lot and that is showing in his continued improvement.'
The tradition-rich Artesia High School program also showcased former Pac-10 standouts Jason Kapono along with Ed and Charles O'Bannon, while current Sun Devil freshman Derek Glasser teamed with Harden the past two years in the backcourt. ASU staff member Scott Pera coached Harden and led Artesia to a No. 2 national ranking from Sports Illustrated last year. The southpaw led the team in scoring his sophomore year as well, scoring a team-high 13.2 points per game. Long-time west coast basketball journalist Frank Burlison of Scout.com described Harden as 'the best prospect in the California senior class' and ranked him as the third-best shooting guard in the nation after Harden scored 35 points in a Las Vegas summer league game against Houston Select. Harden played for Pump-N-Run in the summer for former UCLA mentor Jim Harrick, and the southpaw had 34 points against D.C Assault in the adidas Super Sixty Four final in late July.
The 6-2 McMillan is a point guard in the talent-rich Seattle area who averaged 13 points, five boards and eight assists at O'Dea High School for former NBA player Phil Lumpkin and played AAU ball for Friends of Hoop coached by Jim Marsh, also a former NBA player. Jamelle's father, Nate, is the coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. He is ranked as the top point guard on the west coast by Rivals.com and is No. 99 overall by Scout.com. Street & Smith's has him ranked as a high honorable mention All-American.
'Our staff has known Jamelle's family for a long time and we are delighted that a family with as much basketball background as the McMillan's would want their son to play for us,' notes Sendek. 'He is an exceptional leader, a great student and will be a great addition to our program.
Woods, a 6-8 swingman, signed originally with Villanova last fall but elected to play this year at The Hill School, located in Pottstown, Pa. He played high school at Pocono Mountain East and led the squad to two Mountain Valley Conference titles in three years. He averaged 16 points, eight boards and five blocks last year despite missing six games with a calf injury and ended his four-year career with 1,186 points.
'Kraidon is doing everything he can to become a great player, and playing a year at The Hill School is going to be a great advantage for him,' says Sendek, who has 254 career wins in his 13 seasons. 'He is a great shot-blocker and handles the ball very well.'
ASU has a young core of players on its 2006-2007 team that the trio will join next year, including 2005-2006 Pac-10 All-Freshman honoree Jeff Pendergraph. ASU also signed 2005 McDonald's All-American Eric Boateng this spring after he transferred from Duke, as the 6-10 center will have to sit the 2006-2007 season and will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning next season. Coach Sendek's initial signing class following his hiring consisted of southern California standouts Jerren Shipp (Fairfax High School, ranked eighth in the nation this year by Street & Smith's) and Derek Glasser (Artesia High School).
ASU opens its regular season on Monday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena/Ned Wulk Court against Northern Arizona in the Hispanic College Fund Classic. It will play its first six games at home, including a Nov. 25 contest at 7:30 p.m. against 2006 Big Ten Tournament champion Iowa on Fox Sports Net.
2006 Arizona State Men's Basketball Fall SigneesJames Harden6-4/200/GArtesia High School/Lakewood, Calif.
Jamelle McMillan6-2/180/GO'Dea High School/Seattle, Wash.
Kraidon Woods6-8/190/FThe Hill School/Pottstown, Pa.
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