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OLD GOLD FREE PRESS
Purdue Men's Basketball Recruiting

Ricky Wright

        School and Year (1998-99)	East Chicago Central HS, IN - Senior
        Height and Weight		6'7  204lbs
        Position			Center/Power Forward 
        97-98 Ratings			#39 (RUSA), #71 (HS)
                                        Top30 forward (BO), TOP60 (JT)
        98-99 Ratings                   #98 (RUSA), #87 (HS), #82 (VC)
                                        #90 (BG), #51 (SW), #88 (SN)
        Academically Eligible		Yes
        Status				Villanova
        AAU team                        Spiece Gym Rats North 17 (1998)
                                        Alabama Lasers (1998)
                                        Spiece Gym Rats North 16 (1997)


Player Summary · Player News · Game Stats · Season Stats · Honors · IHSAA Schedule

Player Summary

Ricky Wright is a power forward, strong enough to bang with most centers he comes up against in camps and in high school. The speculation that he could be the best big man in the region is valid. At 6'7 and 220lbs, Wright has the body to be either a 4 in college, or maybe a 5 on a team who values running. Although center wouldn't be his ideal position, he has the tools to be very effective there. I believe he could make some serious noise on the national level if he would get his outside game going. He has a strong upper body and some nice legs. His leaping ability and strong spin moves make him hard to get a handle on if you are trying to defend him in the post. He can play VERY aggressive post defense if the need arises, but likes to cruise around the lane for the inlet. Then he goes to work. Great footwork and a tenacious rebounder who stays with his shot into it goes in or goes the other way. Right now, Wright has a solid mix of offensive and defensive skills. An excellent example of power and smooth movements. Conditioning...he will excel in a running offense and can battle with 260lb centers without running out of gas by the end of the game. As for weaknesses, there aren't any glaring weaknesses. He does need to work on extending his range, and can use some work on positioning under the basket. He sometimes tries to compensate for poor positioning with his leaping ability. Get him in the right position and he will be unstoppable. Wright sat out all of his junior year with a broken navicular bone in his right foot, after a sophomore year that had him go from a backup into a starting position on East Chicago's rather loaded squad. The summer between his sophomore and junior years had him playing on the same AAU squad with Austin Parkinson, Kenny Lowe and John Hamilton. That team went 55-4 for the season, taking the Indiana state AAU championship and finishing 5th in the national tournament.

Current Player News

11-20-98...Wright officially has announced for Villanova. 11-9-98...Indications out of East Chicago say Wright is headed to join former EC Central teammate Bobby Smith at Villanova. Wright has said East Chicago's James Dye has been instrumental in his recruiting process. Dye was also Bobby Smith's guardian, who sent Smith to MCI and later saw Smith go on to Villanova. People outside the EC Central program have been very active in the recruiting processes of EC Central players. Another recent example was the transfer of Marcus Jefferson out of East Chicago to prep school. A move EC Central officials claim was orchestrated by an AAU coach. Today is the day for the long awaited decision from Ricky Wright. The Indy Star has this most recent update, and as we have all suspected, immediate playing time will be a factor. This file will be updated today as soon as confirmation is received. 10-31-98...One of the first articles I've seen to point out that Michigan would also give Wright potential problems with immediate playing time. Plus, as this Trail Talk article states, Wright may not be Michigan's first priority at small forward in this recruiting class. 10-28-98...Ricky's visit to Xavier (and everywhere else) was a good one. FOr an update, check out this Insider's Report blurb. 10-24-98...Two more visits for Wright, then a decision. Scheduled for this weekend is Xavier of Ohio, followed by a 30th visit to Villanova. On hand to show him the Villanova campus will no doubt be former East Chicago teammate Bobby Smith, who spent last year at Maine Central Institute and signed with Villanova this year. For some comments on his visit to Mackey Magic, take this link to an Insider's Report article. 10-19-98...Keady and staff have one scholarship remaining for the high school senior class. Purdue continues to be heavily involved with Ricky Wright, and Wright currently has Purdue "at the top of the list". According to Jeff Washburn for the Journal and Courier, Wright will continue to take visits to Xavier and Villanova (former EC Central teammate Bobby Smith is there) and decide in November. A comment Austin Parkinson made the same evening may indicate Purdue is in good shape with Wright. "If I was to come to Purdue, it would be because of my friends Rick [Wright] and Kenny [Lowe]," the Northwestern HS junior point guard said. Lowe has already verbally committed to Purdue. 10-9-98...Ricky will be officially visiting Purdue October 16 and 17, which will put him on campus for Mackey Magic. According to Bob Miles from EC (now the Athletic Director), Wright is also planning to visit Xavier and Villanova. We've heard the rumors that he has already verballed the Boilers, but put as much faith in them as the rumors last month that had him verballed to the Wolverines. The status of Caron Butler should not be a factor now, since Butler is expected to be in prep school for two years. Wright is academically qualified. 10-1-98...Just when you think you have Purdue recruiting figured out, here comes a new twist in the story. Several places are saying Caron Butler has Purdue as his favorite and is close to a commitment. The player such a decision would impact the most would be Ricky Wright. Several pieces of information over the past few days indicate Purdue is still very much involved with Wright. According to Hoop Scoop, Ohio editor Chris Johnson thinks Purdue will get a commitment from Wright soon. Another writer, independent scout Jeremy Tiers, states he talked to Wright and was told it is neck and neck between Purdue and Michigan. Wright also said he was close to a decision. Yet another source indicates that Purdue and Wright are still in contact, which makes us wonder if that is the reason why Butler seems to be waiting to make an "official" announcement. 9-13-98...Michigan invited not only Ricky Wright for an official visit to Ann Arbor this past weekend, but also a few of its other high priority recruits. Also on hand for the visit was recently verballed point guard Kevin Gaines. If Wright is indeed favoring Michigan and isn't waiting for a better offer elsewhere, it is likely we will hear something on him within the next few days. 8-20-98...The internet rumor that Ricky Wright has verballed to Michigan is false according to Wright. I spoke with him this afternoon during a weightlifting session at E.C. and he denied that he had given a committment to any school. He does have a final list of three... Michigan, Purdue and Indiana, and does seem to be favoring the Wolverines at the moment after recently visiting Ann Arbor. All three schools currently have scholarship offers on the table, and he said he has notified other schools that he will choose between the three on his list. Don't expect Wright to wait until official visits in September to announce. He said he is at the point of discussing his choices with his family and a decision could come anytime. When asked if he was waiting on anything to happen at a particular school first, he said he only has to talk it over with his family and is in control of his own decision at the moment. 7-24-98...After visiting Michigan in June, it appears Ricky Wright is now favoring the Wolverines over Purdue and Indiana. Michigan has a ton of scholarships and boasts plenty of immediate playing time. 7-4-98...Although I am not as optimistic that Wright is "Purdue's to lose", this article from the Indianapolis Star has some encouraging comments from Ricky on the Boilers. Wright is a hot topic of conversation on the AAU circuit, and is getting recruited by many major colleges. Some of the most recent contenders are said to be Indiana, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan and Michigan State. 7-1-98...Wright will be participating in this year's Nike Camp, to be held in Indianapolis next week. 6-29-98...Ricky Wright passed up the Indiana State AAU championship this weekend to join the Alabama Lasers AAU team for a tournament in DC. Taking advantage of the Detroit Motor City big men doubling up on Alabama big man Marvin Stone (rated the #1 junior by a couple of magazines), Wright exploded for 31 points and 12 boards in the win. The Lasers made it to the finals, where they came up against DC Assault on their home floor. The Lasers lost the game 80-73, due in large part to DC's 41 free throws compared to Alabama's 21. Wright, Stone, Dudley and Underwood all fouled out of the game for the Lasers. Meanwhile in the Indiana AAU state tournament, Spiece North lost a 14 point lead and went down to Bloomington Red in overtime in the sceond round of the tournament. Although they failed to advance far into the Indiana tournament, Spiece North still has a bid for National AAU tournament in July. 5-5-98...Click here for an article from the Journal and Courier on the recruitment of Ricky Wright. In talking to EC Central coach Bobby Miles on Friday, he told me both Purdue and IU are "asking the same questions" of Wright and are still heavily involved. Wright has moved to the top of Purdue's wish list for one of two available scholarships for the current junior class. Wright's eventual interest will depend on the success or failure of Cameron Stephens and Jamaal Davis in gaining academic eligibility for next fall. Wright is friends with members of the current Purdue squad, and has expressed an interest in playing with Austin Parkinson in college. 4-28-98...Look for the Spiece Gym Rats North 17 team this summer if you wish to check out Ricky in action. He will be teamed up with F Carlton Baker, CG Kenny Lowe, C Martin Brothers, PG Austin Parkinson and WG John Hamilton to only name a few. The inside combo of Baker and Wright will be hard to match on the AAU circuit in terms of strength, speed and tenacity. 2-20-97...Ricky is expected to rejoin the team for the 2/28 game against Andrean. Wright was reported to be in attendance for the Purdue vs. Illinois game in Mackey last week. 12-29-97...A look at the team from the TimesOnline. 11-28-97...Ricky Wright has yet to play a game this season due to a fractured bone in his left leg. He could return to the lineup very soon. 3-15-97...One more "style" point was all Wright needed for a Lafayette Semistate slam dunk crown. He finished second to Sean Lewis of Lebanon, who will go on to the state slam dunk finals next week in the Hoosier Dome. Lewis will face another Purdue recruit there in Rodney Smith, who has this years best score in slam dunk competition to date. 2-25-97...East Chicago was bounced from its own sectional by a team bent on revenge. Hammond avenged an early season loss to East Chicago by taking over in the last five minutes. Hammond forced 22 turnovers and took control of the game with five minutes remaining when Bobby Smith sat out with a twisted ankle. The Hammond guards then isolated East Chicago's inside game, and pressed their way to the upset victory. 1-24-97...Wright took some criticism in this game from Coach Todd for not seeing the team concept. Although EC beat Roosevelt 66-54, it says a lot about your interior play when your point guard leads the team in rebounds for the game. A team with three players at 6'7 (Davis was out with the flu and with an injury). Wright subbed for Davis at center. "Our biggest problem tonight was selfish play and some discontented people," said Todd, referring primarily to Wright. "You have to have an ego to win, but it's got to be a team ego." 1-22-97...Hammond's shot at dethroning EC Central bounced off the front of the rim as EC escaped 63-61. "I was under the basket and watching it and it looked good to me...real good," said Ricky Wright about the Keith Herron last second shot. A welcomed kiss of fate after a would-be game winning shot from Bobby Smith was disallowed last Saturday at Lafayette Jeff. 1-10-97...Five EC Central players finished in double figures tonight as EC dropped Gavit 81-56. Wright finished with 12 as did Willie Davis. 12-20-96...Bobby Smith is used to scoring a game winning shot, but on Friday night it was sophomore Rick Wright in the role of hero, courtesy a Smith assist. With 8 seconds left, Smith drove the length of the the court and drove down the lane collapsing the defense. This left Wright wide open on the perimeter, who took the Smith pass and finger-rolled in the winning bucket. The NW Times #1 team in the region, won the squeaker by the score of 51-49. As he usually does, Coach Todd was not at a loss for criticism for his players. "We won the game on athletic ability," said Todd, "not on basketball ability. We didn't play smart at all. We played hard. They played smart." There was a lot of talk about the officiating. EC finished the game with 20 fouls and Lake Central had 21. Not only were the coaches at a loss for words as to why the game was being called so closely, so was the crowd. In a juvenile show of disgust, a full bottle of sports drink was thrown onto the court with about 3 minutes remaining in the second half. "It was disgusting," said Todd on the incident. "That's as bad a thing that I have seen in years." EC Central (5-0, 2-0) was whistled for 14 of their 20 fouls in the first half. "During timeouts our kids kept saying 'We're getting fouled, we're getting fouled,'" Todd said. "It's like when babies whine to get a new bottle. We just have to learn to adjust." So what will be the focus of Todd's Saturday practice? "We have to stop believing we are the best team in the universe," said Todd.

Single Game Statistics

DATE MIN FG FGA FT FTA 3P 3PA RB A B S PTS -------------------------------------------------- * 06-26-98 12 31 Won vs Detroit Motor City 05-02-98 7 2 0 16 Lost 66- CMH 76ers 73 05-02-98 6 3 0 15 Won 70- No Excuses 60 05-01-98 4 1 0 9 Won 84- Salt Lake 74 02-25-97 6 9 5 6 9 17 Lost 67- Hammond 72 01-24-97 0 3 2 2 2 Won 66- Gary Roosevelt 54 01-10-97 6 0 2 12 Won 81- Gavit 56 12-20-96 3 2 2 8 Won 51- Lake Central 49

Season to Date Statistics

Season thru PPG FG% FT% 3P% RPG APG SPG BPG RECORD RANK ------------------------------------------------------------------ 97-98 season [Did not play due to injury]

Awards and Honors

97-98 season Preseason All-State Third Team (Hoosier Basketball) AAU All-American Second Team

1997-98 Season Schedule for East Chicago

Date Day Time Opponent ---- --- ---- -------------------- 11/28/97 FRI 12:30P W Thanksgiving Classic 11/29/97 SAT 12:30P W Thanksgiving Classic 12/12/97 FRI 7:30P W @ Michigan City 12/19/97 FRI 7:30P W Lake Central 12/20/97 SAT 7:00P W @ South Bend Clay 12/27/97 SAT 7:30P W Anderson Highland 01/03/98 SAT TBA W @ Elkhart Memorial (Elkhart Classic) 01/03/98 SAT TBA W Penn (Elkhart Classic) 01/07/98 WED 7:30P W Bishop Noll 01/09/98 FRI 7:30P W @ Hammond Gavit 01/17/98 SAT 7:30P W Lafayette Jeff 01/20/98 TUE 7:30P W Hammond High 01/23/98 FRI 7:30P W Gary Roosevelt 01/24/98 SAT 7:00P W Crown Point 01/30/98 FRI 7:30P L @ Gary West 02/03/98 TUE 7:30P W @ Gary Wirt 02/07/98 SAT 7:30P W @ Indy Broad Ripple 02/13/98 FRI 7:30P W @ Gary Lew Wallace 02/19/98 THU 7:30P W Merrillville 02/28/98 SAT 7:30P W @ Andrean 03/04/98 WED 7:30P L Sectional vs #8 Gary West (@ East Chicago) * Times subject to change * * To confirm game time call East Chicago Central HS at 219-391-6315 *

As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive

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