Posted: 2:21 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
Wake Forest got a commitment from 6-3 Rondale Watson (2014) from Fairlea, West Virginia. Watson averaged 21.6 points, eight rebounds and three assists last season. His coach, Jim Justice, says this about Watson: “He’s got a good shot, and he’s worked really hard on improving it. His ball handling has also improved. He’s 6-3 and can jump out of the gym. Wake was looking for a 2-guard who could score, and they found one.”
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Watson joins big man Isaac Haas and point guard Shelton Mitchell for the class of 2014. Despite a bad few years, despite heavy criticism, Jeff Bzdelik is putting together a solid core of talented players.
Wake’s history with West Virginia players has been spotty, although our knowledge here is admittedly not encyclopedic. Chase Fischer left just last year after a disappointing stretch. Mark Cline came to Winston-Salem years ago with great fanfare but had a admirable yet modest career.
For that matter, and maybe someone can help us here, but we can’t really think of a major ACC player from West Virginia. Duke had Neil Chinault and Allen Williams, but neither had a memorable career. Anyone else?
Not that it makes much difference; great players can come from anywhere. The ACC has had a handful of Caribbean players, but only one, perhaps two, from the U.S. Virgin Islands. We seem to remember someone from Virginia, but of course the one everyone remembers is Tim Duncan. And don’t get us started on French Lick. And of course almost 60 years ago, a pretty good player came out of East Bend, West Virginia.
Virginia’s Tony Bennett went a bit further afield for his latest recruit, getting a commitment from 6-10 Kiwi Jack Salt. Just 17, Salt is advanced enough to play for the New Zealand national team, the Tall Blacks.