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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Pump N Run's CJ Watson Commits
To Tennessee Over Weekend--(Aug. 27, 2001)

cjwatson.jpg (7342 bytes)CJ Watson (6'-2" Sr. PG) from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, who played with the Pump N Run team this summer, has verbally committed to the University of Tennessee.  Generally considered a Top 100 player by most recruiting services, CJ visited the Vols this past weekend, and apparently with his strong family ties to the region, and given what he saw and heard, decided to cut short the rest of his recruitment by other schools, and gave a commitment to Tennessee head coach Buzz Peterson.   The story was originally featured on a Tennessee recruiting website,, here's what Jeff Markman posted there:

CJ Watson chooses Tennessee

by Jeff Markman

C.J. Watson, a talented 6-1 point guard from Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman High School, committed to the Tennessee Volunteers during his visit this past weekend. I spoke with C.J. about his recent commitment tonight, and the reasons he gave me for choosing the Vols was "family first and foremost. It's also an opportunity for me to get my education and degree, and a place that I can step in and play right away." The well-spoken high school senior went on to say that he was "very comfortable with the situation" in Knoxville, and looks forward to playing in the orange and white.

The reference to "family first" has to do with the fact that both of CJ's parents are from Tennessee, attended high school there, and he's got many cousins, aunts and uncles in the Knoxville area.  His father was quoted in one of the local Tennessee newspapers over the weekend as saying that he would be perfectly happy with CJ leaving Las Vegas to play where both parents' grew up. 

CJ had been one of two primary recruiting targets at the point guard spot for the UCLA Bruins, at least through the July recruiting period.   UCLA was also looking to recruit Ashanti Cook (6'-2" Sr. PG) from Westchester HS, who is going to be receiving home visits this fall from New Mexico, Minnesota, Oregon, Nevada, Portland and Kansas State.  Of course the Bruins are also still recruiting Hassan Adams, but we haven't received word yet of whether the coaches have set up any home visits with the two Westchester prospects.

Tennessee had been recruiting several point guards in addition to CJ, including Derron Williams (6'-2" Sr. PG) from Texas, who played against CJ at ABCD Camp.  Derron had been scheduled to visit Knoxville in the next few weeks, and we assume that with the commitment of CJ to the Vols that they won't be recruiting any other point guards this year, and that Derron's interest will shift to other schools recruiting him like Georgia Tech and Illinois. 

CJ was one of seven members of the Pump N Run team who visited UCLA (along with Brad Buckman, Richard Chaney, who has committed to Utah, David Gale, Brandon Rohe, junior David Padgett, and top national volleyball prospect Matt McKinney).  The Bruins are still actively recruiting Buckman, but we've yet to hear if Brad has set up an official visit with the Bruins.  Buckman, who lives less than a 1/4 mile from the University of Texas campus, is currently scheduled to take a visit to Kansas for "Late Night with Roy Williams."  Brad also recently let it be known publicly that he's eliminated Missouri from consideration and is down to just Texas, Kansas, UCLA and North Carolina. 

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