Forward Feels at Home During ASU Visit

Forward Kraidon Woods

Kraidon Woods, who hails from Pennsylvania, has never been to the West coast. His visit to Tempe gave him a taste of Pac-10 country, and the strong impression the Sun Devils left on him may have him come again here in the future – this time for a longer period.

"It was a great," said the 6-8 195 Kraidon Woods of his visit to Arizona State. "Coach Sendek and the team made me feel right at home there. It seems like a great situation to be in. I really enjoyed it. I didn't know too much about Arizona State before the visit and now I know a lot more. It was good to go and see and feel how it would there on the West coast." The forward was accompanied by his father on the trip, and as much as Woods enjoyed his time, he said with a smile that his dad "probably enjoyed the visit more than I did."

Woods, out of Swiftwater, Penn. was hosted by Eric Boateng, an East coast player (and one time Duke player) himself that made the trek to the Valley of the Sun and signed with the maroon and gold. The beautiful weather in Tempe wasn't the only part of the trip that Woods enjoyed. "I got to hang out with the guys, look around campus – it's a beautiful campus," he noted. "It seems that they have a specialist for everything that has to do with basketball. They have a nutritionist, a trainer, a tutor…and coach Sendek is on top of everything. You can tell that Coach Sendek will make this program better."

"Coach Sendek is real honest and very wise," continued Woods. "Every time he talks, there's like an aura around him – everything stops and everybody becomes silent and listens to what he has to say. He's a really funny guy too. All the staff there are great guys."

The Pennsylvania player was present at the team's open practice on Saturday, but this wasn't his first exposure to Sendek's teaching methods. "I was watching videos of practices that they had at North Carolina State too," remarked Woods. "So I know how practice runs and what to expect. I really got to know how the system works and how I would fit in, and that makes me interested in Arizona State."

Woods, who committed to local college Villanova in 2004, re-opened his recruitment a month ago and the Sun Devils were one of many schools who started to pursue the forward at that time. It has been reported that heavy numbers at forward for the Wildcats, and the desire to play early, have caused Woods to re-evaluate his earlier decision to attend school there.

The forward was one of Pocono Mountain East High's best players the last few years. As a sophomore he led the team to Mountain Valley Conference title and 24-3 mark. His recruitment heated up considerably as a junior, where he averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocks a game. His senior season was cut short because of a calf injury, and he was averaging 16 points a contest up to that point. Many Big East and Atlantic 10 schools were courting Woods, and NC State, then coached by Sendek, was also among the list of suitors.

"My biggest strengths are my versatility and my athleticism," said Woods of his skills. "I do need to get stronger before I go to the next level. My target weight is 225, and before I go to college I probably want to be at 215. " The ASU prospect can play either forward spot, and doesn't have a strong preference to play one over the other – a fact that can help him play within the Sun Devil system. "In coach Sendek's offense it really doesn't matter," he commented. "I think I would fit in perfectly there. I do have the strength to play down low, but my outside shot is probably better (than his post game)."

These days Woods is attending Hill Prep School in Pottstown, Penn. "I went there so I could work on my skills and get stronger after I injured my calf," he explained, "and get my game ready for college."

The forward indicated that Villanova hasn't stopped recruiting him and still has a scholarship offer on the table. Woods hasn't trimmed down his list of schools yet, and is trying to sort through the recruiting frenzy he's experiencing. "Right now I'm just looking at other schools and see what's the best fit for me," he said. "Arizona State was my first official visit and I did visit a lot of schools here in the (Northeast) area unofficially. But Arizona State will most definitely be on the final list, when I make that list."

"Playing away from home isn't that much of a problem," claimed Woods. "Anywhere you're gonna play it will be away from home. Whatever the best fit is for you basketball wise and school wise…it's not a big deal if it's on the West coast or East coast."

For now, Woods hasn't scheduled any other official visits before the November 8th-15th early signing period. Furthermore, he does leave the door open to perhaps inking his name in the late signing period April 11th – May 16th 2007. "My school is on break right now, so I haven't seen my coach and he was the one setting up the visits," explained Woods. "Right now I'm just weighing the whole Arizona State thing and seeing if I do want to take another visit. I could sign now, I could sign later. Right now I'm not even sure."

"I'm just gonna look at the coaching staff, the school…just how I fit in over there," continued Woods. "If everything clicks and that's where I want to be, that's when I commit. It may take a little while since I've only been back one day from Arizona State. I still have to process everything before I make my decision."

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