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WSU basketball offers two Heights players

As first reported on The Eagle’s VarsityKansas blog (they get all the scoops), WSU has offered scholarships to Heights junior guard Evan Wessel and sophomore forward Perry Ellis.

Wessel, a 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 10 points during the regular season in 2008-09. Ellis, 6-foot-8, averaged 19.9 for the Falcons, who went 24-1 and won the Class 6A title.

When Marshall came to WSU from Winthrop, I did a story about one of his biggest coups as a recruiter. While an assistant at Marshall, he landed J.R. VanHoose, Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1998. Here’s a few lines from that story that apply:“He was the Paul Bunyan of eastern Kentucky; 3,000 points, 2,000 rebounds,” Marshall said.

Indiana and Bobby Knight wanted VanHoose. So did Roy Williams and Kansas, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt.

“He had 30 schools in his home,” Marshall said. “We were 29th going in, according to J.R., and we were fifth coming out.”Landing Ellis would make the VanHoose story look small. If you’re reading, you probably know all about Ellis, who will be one of the nation’s top recruits until he makes a decision.

WSU will be a huge underdog against the likes of Kansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky. I’ve seen Marshall with Ellis and his family after Shocker games. When Marshall turns his personality on, it’s an impressive sight. From what I can tell, Marshall will do everything he can to make WSU a tough team for the Ellis family to dismiss. He is the guy you would want fighting this fight for the Shockers.

Wessel, as far as I can tell, is a more realistic target. Shocker coaches – Mark Turgeon, for example – can win without big contributions from City Leaguers. They all say it’s easier to do with Wichitans. Marshall missed on his first big target, Southeast’s Jordan Cyphers. He is too good a recruiter to miss on many of them.