WKU makes five official for 2011; Guerrero not signed

Herald Staff

WKU announced on Wednesday that five recruits have signed National Letters of Intent as part of the 2011 men’s basketball class.

They are George Fant (F, 6-6, 220, Bowling Green, Ky.), Derrick Gordon (G, 6-3, 185, Plainfield, N.J.), Deng Leek (C, 6-11, 230, Greensboro, N.C.), Nigel Snipes (F, 6-5, 185, Marietta, Ga.) and Vinny Zollo (F, 6-8, 230, Winchester, Ky.).

All five are three-star prospects at Rivals.com, with Gordon the highest-rated at No. 135 on the Rivals 150.

Though it’s no surprise at this point, Rivals.com four-star point guard Cezar Guerrero didn’t sign with WKU during the NCAA’s Early Period. Guerrero committed to WKU on Oct. 15 but has since been unreachable. Attempts to contact Guerrero by the Herald have been unsuccessful for the past week.

Head Coach Ken McDonald didn’t address what he missed out on in a university release. Instead, McDonald emphasized the potential of a class that ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep said was “on the cusp” of the top 25 nationally.

“Our class addresses all of our needs after the departure of our four seniors from this year’s team,” McDonald said in the release. “We were able to get commitments from each position, and I think our staff did an incredible job covering from coast to coast. We have some very good athleticism and skill levels at each position, and I love the fact that many of them can play a lot of different positions. I’m excited about each and every player, and there’s a lot of potential for these guys to have great four-year careers on the Hill.”

With six commitments, the Toppers looked to face a potential over-signing problem. Unless McDonald signs another player during the NCAA’s Regular Signing Period (April 13-May 18), that problem was resolved.

More comments from McDonald on the class:

McDonald on Fant:

“George is a talented, mis-match kind of guy who is a great kid. We’ve known him since the day we took the job. We love him and his family, and I think he has a ton of potential to really do whatever he wants on the Hill. He could have a great career here, and I know he’s excited that his family has the chance to see him play here.”

McDonald on Gordon:

“He has been rock-solid from day one and is a Hilltopper at heart. He’s a tough kid, a great kid who is serious about the game of basketball and serious about being a student. I think he’s going to be a favorite of Hilltopper nation.”

McDonald on Leek:

“Deng has a load of potential, and he’s a big kid. We’re excited to work with him on his skill level, and his best days are ahead of him. He’s an excellent defender right now and a shot-blocker. The tools on the offensive end will come with time and experience.”

McDonald on Snipes:

“Nigel came into the picture late and has a great skill-level. He is a very good athlete who can really stroke the ball. He has a good handle as well and can make plays off the dribble. He is a great kid who reminds me a little personality-wise of [former Hilltopper standout] Jeremy Evans. I think the fans are really going to like him.”

McDonald on Zollo:

“Vinny can shoot the ball from deep, and he has a great body and a lot of tools. He’s another great kid and a serious student, and he comes from a great family. He’s a Kentucky kid, who I think is going to do really well in his time on the Hill.”