Los Angeles senior Dwayne Polee, long the object of Mark Fox's recruiting attentions, is set to make his college choice tonight. You may recall that Polee is the player Fox flew cross-country and back on the redeye to see after the 'Dawgs fell to Vandy in the SEC tournament. He previously committed to Tim Floyd and USC but was granted his release after Floyd left
under investigation by the NCAA and questions about why anyone would want to follow Jim Harrick's career plan Troy.
Polee is set to decide from among Georgia, St. John's, Oregon and UNLV, though the decision likely comes down to Georgia and St. John's. The Johnnies were a late entry for his services, but new coach Steve Lavin has come on strong and seems to have a decent shot. Playing a few home games a year in Madison Square Garden should not be overlooked as a benefit of playing for Lavin. And while his most recent employment was making inexplicably stupid remarks as a broadcaster (Musberger's Disease: It's a horrible, catchy affliction), he also made the NCAA tournament like clockwork during his time at UCLA and put guys in the NBA. If Polee's allergic to hair gel, however, we should be in good shape. Because standing next to Lavin during a timeout would be anaphylaxis waiting to happen.
This will be a big, though not critical, test of Mark Fox's recruiting chops. At this point his biggest selling point to a rangy wing player like Polee who likes to run the court and drive the lane is that Travis Leslie did a lot of that last year, and as a result was on Sportscenter during February more than Mel Kiper live from the NFL Combine. Athens is not NYC, it's not a basketball hotbed, and Georgia's not perceived as a basketball power player. Mark Fox is a rising star in the coaching ranks, not a known quantity like Lavin. But Fox has really put in the hours with Polee, and he gets the credit for doing wonders this year with Leslie and Trey Thompkins, which may be a big factor. This kid will likely play from day one at either school, so it probably comes down to which he sees providing him with the best basketball future longterm. I'm betting the time Mark Fox has put in making Polee his #1 priority pays off for Georgia, but as I've said before, betting on the decision making of high school students makes the lottery look like a sure thing. What do you folks think?