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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Crossroads' Isaiah Fox Being Courted
By Several Top Programs--(Aug. 23, 2000)

fox.jpg (11287 bytes)We had a chance to speak briefly today with the father of Isaiah Fox (6'-9" Sr. PF) from Santa Monica Crossroads about his son's recruiting.   Isaiah's father,  Nils,  told us that Isaiah is actively looking at several Pac-10's, including Cal Berkeley, Oregon, Arizona and USC, as well as Oklahoma, and that home visits and official visits have been set up with Cal, Oregon, Oklahoma, and UConn (which will be out here anyway for Dinos Trigonis' Long Beach Fall Hoops Classic). Memphis is also showing some interest, and a home visit may be set up as well with them, although there are no plans for any other official visits yet besides the ones which are now set.

Isaiah will visit Cal the weekend of September 8-11, and will then visit Oregon and then Oklahoma in the following weeks through the end of September.   We would expect that Fox will take all five official visits. 

We also checked with other sources (independent of Mr. Fox) and according to those sources Arizona and USC both continue to express interest in Isaiah, despite reports and rumors to the contrary.  Arizona reportedly offered early, and many speculated that while Arizona has not officialy withdrawn the offer, the Wildcats are not pursuing Fox, given the early commitment of Channing Frye and their heavy interest in Rick Rickert and Dennis Lattimore.  However, our Arizona connection also indicates that if Rickert and Lattimore go elsewhere, Fox will once again be a prime target at Arizona.  Likewise, with only one scholarship left to give, the conventional wisdom has been that USC is looking only for a wing player, preferably Dijon Thompson, but our sources at Troy tell us that Fox has a standing offer which, if accepted, would conclude the Trojans' recruiting for the year. 

The one wild card in all of Fox's recruiting thus far is Oklahoma.  Kelvin Sampson offered Fox earlier this summer and if player development is a concern, Sampson is one of the best at that (which is not to say Ernie Kent and Ben Braun aren't, because they are).    According to Fox's father,  Isaiah's decision will come down to which coaching staff ultimately give Isaiah the most long-term interest, training and where his opportunities for playing time and development will be best served. 

Does he have an aversion to attending a school out of state? Evidently not:   "Isaiah's primary concerns right now are where he'll get the best education, where he'll get the best attention from the coaches, and where he'll receive the best opportunity to develop as a player," said his father.   "He was born in Arizona, raised in Monrovia, and his grandmother and other family members live in Oregon and he has family elsewhere. So moving out of State isn't a concern.    He is completely open to attending a school provided it is the right fit, and if that's out of state, it won't matter.  Cal, Oregon, Oklahoma, they are all excellent schools and great programs, and that's why Isaiah is interested in them."

Isaiah's father told us that his son has an interest in a possible career after he's done playing which would involve sports management or broadcasting,  and while we can't speak for the actual programs at any of these schools which might provide some background in that area, Oklahoma does have one adavantage the other's don't have and that's assistant Dan Shell, whose brother, Jeff was formerly an Executive VP and CFO at FoxSportsNet, the regional sports cable network,  who is now the President of FoxSportsNetworks.  With those kinds of connections, maybe one Fox will wind up helping another Fox. . . 

As far as how Isaiah is holding up with the recruiting process, Isaiah's father Nils is a former college football player and thus he's had more than a little personal familiarity with college recruiting.  As a result, he's playing a fairly active role in helping his son decide on a college.  "Isaiah has been very fortunate to have so many great opportunities presented to him," Nils said. "He's allowed me to participate in his recruiting,  let me open his mail, and he and I go through the letters together to evaluate the levels of interest that the schools are showing.  Sometimes I can spot things that he might overlook.  But it's been a lot of fun."

Does Isaiah have any leaders at this moment?    "I don't know that Isaiah has a clear cut preference right now," said Nils.  "He really likes the coaching staffs at Cal, Oklahoma and Oregon, and we've set up those early official visits, and at least one additional home visit with UConn.   There could be others, and we're not foreclosing any possibilities right now.  We'll see what develops." 

"Whatever he decides," Nils said, "he has some wonderful choices and we're just fortunate that he has these great   schools interested in him.  It's a great opportunity for a top education and an opportunity to let him continue to play."

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