Junior college basketball All-American Willie Atwood was supposed to announce his next school Wednesday. Then he postponed it to Thursday at noon and pushed it back again for another hour.
It created suspense for the three schools pursuing Atwood — ASU, Iowa and Florida State — but Atwood gave his commitment and signed with ASU, taking the Sun Devils’ last available scholarship.
“I’m so humbled to welcome my guy Willie Atwood to Sun Devil Nation,” ASU assistant coach Stan Johnson tweeted Thursday. “Picked us over some great teams & coaches. #lovehismotor. [sic]”
Atwood, a 6-foot-8 power forward, averaged 20.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game at Connors State College (Okla.) last year. 24/7 Sports ranked Atwood as the No. 7 JUCO prospect in the nation. He will be immediately eligible to play as a junior next season.
The Sun Devils also signed Savon Goodman, a combo forward from Indian Hills Community College who played his freshman season at UNLV, on Saturday. Goodman will not be eligible until after the fall 2014 semester.
“Savon is extremely athletic, very versatile and can rebound,” coach Herb Sendek said in a statement Saturday. “We love his athleticism and he will fit in well with our other newcomers and our returners.”
Goodman appeared in the NCAA tournament with the Runnin’ Rebels in 2013 and averaged 3.6 points and 2.4 boards, but he was dismissed from UNLV prior to last season after being arrested for theft and trespassing. Goodman pled guilty in December. He did not play with Indian Hills under new ASU assistant Barret Peery in 2013-14.
Atwood and Goodman should boost ASU’s post presence next season, Sendek said last week in a meeting with reporters that the team was looking to recruit frontcourt help.
The team also signed guards Gerry Blakes (San Bernandino Valley College) and Roosevelt Scott (Indian Hills) in November, giving ASU four incoming transfers for next season.
ASU’s scholarship roster is set for next season as it retains redshirt senior forward Shaquielle McKissic, junior forward Jonathan Gilling, redshirt junior Bo Barnes, sophomore center Eric Jacobsen, sophomore forward Sai Tummala and freshman point guard Chance Murray and welcomes incoming freshmen guard Tra Holder, big man Connor MacDougall and guard Kodi Justice.
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