The University of Utah doesn't expect to sign any high school basketball players on Wednesday - which is National Letter of Intent Day - but the Utes are known to be pursuing two players from the Midwest.
Silas Mills, a 6-foot-7 forward from Washington High in Milwaukee, and Chris Wilburn, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Martinsville High (Ind.), are both considering signing with Utah.Wednesday is the first day colleges can sign high school basketball players to letters of intent.
"It will be a lot like last year," says Ute assistant coach Joe Cravens. "We'll probably sign a couple of kids late. We definitely won't sign anyone on Wednesday."
The Utes, who lose just one player to graduation from last season's 30-4 team, appear to be recruiting only Mills and Wilburn (NCAA rules forbid college coaches from talking about recruits).
Mills averaged 20.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game this past season for 20-1 Washington and earned first-team all-state honors.
According to Washington coach James Gordon, Mills is being recruited by Utah, Cleveland State and several junior colleges. Gordon, among others, says a number of other schools have lost interest in Mills because he will be forced to miss his freshman season as a Prop. 48 case.
"I think he won't decide until Wednesday," says Gordon. "He's an outstanding athlete. He can run and catch, he shoots pretty well and he jumps over people."
Wilburn averaged 12 points and 11 assists per game for 21-2 Martinsville, which ranked No. 1 in Indiana for most of the season and was ranked in USA Today's final Top 20 poll.
"He is a very good athlete and a great ballhandler" as well as being very quick, says Martinsville coach Tim Wolf.
Wolf calls Wilburn's scoring average deceiving, because two of his teammates handled most of the scoring duties (45 points per game between them). Both of those players, according to Wolf, will sign with Big Ten schools - Minnesota and Michigan State.
"Chris hasn't decided where he's going yet," says Wolf. "Wisconsin and Minnesota are recruiting him, too. He hasn't passed his test yet. Utah will take him as a Prop. 48; the others won't."