Arizona Reaches out to Devon Collier

NEW YORK — With nearly every major program in the Northeast already on Devon Collier’s list, it comes as no surprise that Arizona is now making a push for the versatile left-handed senior forward from Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony.

Arizona, via assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson, recently  reached out to the 6-foot-8, 205-pound Collier.

“Arizona just gave me a call saying that they’re interested in me,” said Collier, who scored 10 points to help his New Heights AAU team beat RISE 58-52 to win the “Summer in the City” 17U event at St. John’s. “[Richardson] just said that he’s interested in me, that he’s been recruiting me since he was at Xavier. He likes my style of play, he’s going to see if I’m interested in Arizona.”

Collier also listed Villanova, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, UConn, Marquette, Virginia, West Virginia and Providence.

“I don’t have [any] favorites,” he said. “I’m still open.”

Collier is the No. 19 power forward in the Class of 2010, according to Rivals, but he is a versatile athlete who can play on the perimeter and face up. Even with Villanova commit Dominic Cheek on Bob Hurley’s team last season, most observers agreed that Collier was the team’s most consistent performer.

“He was probably the Friars’ best player,” recruiting expert Tom Konchalski said. “Even though Dominic Cheek was a McDonald’s All-American he was probably the Friars’ best player.

“He had a series of little injuries but when he gets back into the gym at the CERC and Bob Hurley has him for a whole year. He’s a guy who’s extremely mobile. He has some perimeter skills. He’s big enough to post inside and score inside and he has a very good feel for the game.”

Collier transferred to St. Anthony from All Hallows and then had to adjust to Hurley’s demanding ways.

“It was a little bit of an adjustment,” he said. “I had to get used to it.  I had to adjust so I could play and I did that. When you get to know everybody, you [feel] more comfortable.

“I feel like I had a good year. I carried my team good, try to be leader on the court.”

With Derrick Williams and Ashton Pankey, both D1 recruits as well, down low, Collier wants to develop his perimeter game this season.

“[I want to] be more versatile, play defense, offense, pass the ball, get my teammates involved,” he said. “Ashton and Derrick are inside so I gotta develop my perimeter skills.”

Collier said he plans to cut his list later this summer and fall and then go from there.

“I could go anywhere, it’s whatever best fits me,” he said.

FOR MORE ARIZONA NEWS:

**Read the Sean Miller interview here.

**Read about Sidiki Johnson’s commitment here.

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The Danny Nee Experiment at Rutgers didn’t last long. Nee, who played high school ball with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, has left Rutgers for Towson.

“Danny brings tremendous experience and knowledge about the college game,” Towson coach Pat Kennedy said. “His passion has always been college basketball. We’ve very excited to have him here at Towson.”

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(Photos courtesy Rivals, New Heights)