Southeast Missouri State University's men's basketball program has received its second oral commitment for the 2004-2005 season.
James White, a sophomore forward at Southwestern Illinois College, plans to sign with the Indians during the early signing period that begins Nov. 12, said Dutchmen coach Jay Harrington.
Less than two weeks ago, Vianney High School senior point guard Paul Paradoski orally committed to Southeast. He also plans to sign during the early period.
In White, a 6-foot-7, 215-pounder, Harrington said the Indians will be getting an impressive athlete with a strong all-around game whose best basketball is still ahead of him.
"James is a kid who I think is just going to get better and better," Harrington said. "He's a four man who can shoot the three, he's a good athlete who can run the floor. He's been a big kid since the eighth grade and he was awkward, so his size is just catching up to him.
"I think he's a good player and I know Southeast thinks he'll be a great prospect."
White missed plenty of time with various injuries during his freshman season last year at Southwestern Illinois College, located in Belleville. He also played behind first-team junior-college All-American Marcellus Sommerville, who signed with Bradley.
Still, Harrington said White came on strong toward the end of last year and figures to be one of the Dutchmen's top players this season.
"James began to start toward the end of last year and he would get six, eight points per game, but he didn't get a lot of chances because we went to three main guys who all signed Division I," Harrington said. "We're planning on him being a big part of our team this year because he can do so many things."
Under NCAA regulations, Southeast coach Gary Garner is not allowed to comment on prospective recruits until they sign.
Garner to attend summit
Garner will be in Chicago today for a summit to address ethical concerns following a series of scandals involving coaches and programs over the past year.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches, which called the meeting, is requiring all NCAA Division I men's head basketball coaches to attend. Coaches who do not will lose their ticket privileges for the 2004 Final Four.
"We hope that this summit will provide a basis for our coaches and our association to proactively move forward toward greater integrity in our sport," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson, the NABC president, said in a statement.
Garner said he doesn't know what the summit will entail but is anxious to find out.
"I really don't know what the format will be. I'm as curious as anybody about what's going to go on there," Garner said. "With more than 300 Division I head coaches, you can't really have an open forum type of thing. I assume there will be speakers."
Garner said he expects most of the nation's coaches to attend.
"Everybody really wants their tickets to the Final Four, but more than that, I think everybody's athletic director and president want them to go," Garner said. "Some of the things that have happened over the last year are pretty serious and I think it's good it's being addressed."