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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Wesley Stokes Commits To
San Diego State--(July 2, 2002)

This morning's San Diego Union Tribune reported that Wesley Stokes has decided upon a school:  San Diego State.   SD U-T reporter Ed Graney's story can be found at this link.   We've also reproduced it below (enhancing it with that natty photo from the Mizzou site, but featuring Wes' stylish locks).  To summarize the story, Stokes was originally recruited by San Diego Assistant Marvin Menzies coming out of Long Beach Poly two years ago, but opted instead to sign with Missouri.  Menzies called to congratulate Wesley on his signing with Missouri, and evidently, it's the little touches that paid off in the long run, because Menzies has done it again, and the Aztecs have now signed their point guard of the future, at least for the 2003-04 and 04-05 seasons.   Stokes will have to sit out this year, and Deandre Moore, who has one year of eligibility remaining will carry the lead guard load this coming season.  Great get for Steve Fisher and his crew. Here's wishing much success to Wesley and to the Aztecs this coming season.  Here's the full story:

Missouri point guard to transfer to Aztecs

By Ed Graney
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
July 2, 2002

Stokes01-01.jpg (7521 bytes)Wesley Stokes says the decision was not simple coming out of high school, that he could have chosen to play basketball at San Diego State instead of Missouri, that it was much tougher than most realize. 

"Missouri had what I believed to be a better recruiting class coming in with me," says Stokes. "If not for that, I probably would have been at (SDSU) the whole time." 

Two years later, he is. 

The Missouri point guard said last night he will transfer to SDSU for the fall semester. The 5-foot-10 Stokes will sit out the 2002-03 season and have two years of eligibility remaining. 

The spring letter-of-intent period is over, which means NCAA rules prohibit Aztecs coaches from commenting until Stokes attends school. Instead, Stokes will sign a scholarship agreement with SDSU.

"I really enjoyed my time at Missouri and owe their coaching staff a lot," said Stokes, a former prep All-American at Long Beach Poly. "But you go away for school and realize how much you miss your family. I wanted to be closer to my mom and two brothers. 

"And I also think the style of play (SDSU) Coach (Steve) Fisher is known for is better suited for me. I like to get up and down the court. I like the idea of a point guard having the ball in his hands and making decisions. I want to play for him."

Stokes' commitment gives SDSU some breathing room in recruiting. The Aztecs have three scholarships available for 2003-04 and will likely sign a prep point guard. But in Stokes, they now have a player with two seasons of experience in the Big 12 Conference. 

Deandre Moore is a senior who should start at the point next season, with Stokes now prepared to replace him the following year. The Aztecs are coming off a 21-win season and their first NCAA Tournament bid since 1985.  

Stokes, recruited out of high school by SDSU assistant Marvin Menzies, started parts of both seasons at Missouri and led the Tigers in assists as a sophomore with 147. Missouri advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in March, when the Tigers lost to Oklahoma in the West Regional final. 

Missouri is also stacked at point guard next season, with junior-college All-American Ricky Clemons and highly regarded incoming freshman Jimmy McKinney. 

Stokes is the latest player to leave a major conference and join the Aztecs, a list that includes Moore (Vanderbilt), senior guard Tony Bland (Syracuse) and incoming sophomores Travis Hanour (Arizona) and Chris Manker (Oregon State).

"I have been on an Elite Eight team and want to get back there with (SDSU)," said Stokes. "I'll sit out a season, work on every part of my game and do my best to lead this team deep into the NCAA Tournament. I thought it might take Coach Fisher longer to turn the program around. That he has done it in such a short time is incredible. 

"I remember the day after I committed to Missouri. (Menzies) called and congratulated me. Most coaches, you would have never heard from. I really respect him and Coach Fisher and the entire staff. I'll be down there next week playing one-on-one with Tony Bland. I can't wait to go against Deandre in practice every day and hopefully make us both better. I'm ready to go."

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