Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
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At this point, it would come as a surprise to very few if Findlay Prep guard Cory Joseph woke up one morning and a decision on where to play ball next season just hit him out of nowhere.
"I think he's kind of turned that switch off in terms of thinking about it day-in and day-out," Findlay coach Mike Peck said. "I think he has an idea that once the pressure from our season fades a little bit, it'll become clear to him."
Joseph's status has stayed the same for a while now: The No. 7 rated prospect in the 2010 class according to Rivals.com is considering — in no particular order — UNLV, UConn, Minnesota, Villanova and Texas.
It'll remain a waiting game for those potential suitors in the race. Peck said that unless he straight-up asks about it, Joseph rarely talks about his future.
The 6-foot-3 Toronto native appears content to live in the moment, remaining relatively private when it comes to the next step.
When will he decide?
"Whenever I feel 100 percent sure," Joseph said. "I do think about it a little bit, but I'm still not 100 percent. Right now I'm caught up in school and trying to win basketball games."
In other words, the latest news is, well, no news. There probably won't be any for a while, either.
For reference, Findlay's 2008-09 season didn't end until April 5 with a title in the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational in North Bethesda, Md.
Coincidentally, for UNLV, the same can be said for its other top target in the 2010 class — Westchester (Calif.) High small forward Dwayne Polee.
Polee has taken just one official visit so far, and it was to UNLV on Nov. 28 to see the Rebels face then-No. 16 Louisville, who UNLV defeated, 76-71.
He said he'd like to take his other four allotted visits before committing anywhere, and those visits won't take place until his season with the Comets is through.
"I'll make my decision around late March, early April," Polee said. "When the whole USC thing kind of fell through, we just wanted to be patient and not rush into another decision. We're just taking our time right now, getting a feel for all the coaches."
Polee got a visit from UNLV coach Lon Kruger, who went to see the Comets play Venice High in Los Angeles to cap off a one-day recruiting trip.
As for Polee's destinations once his season is over, he said his list is still set at UNLV, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State. Though he can't take another official visit to Las Vegas, Polee said he wants to attend another game at the Mack before the season is done. Polee, whose father, Dwayne Sr., played at UNLV during the 1981-82 season before transferring to Pepperdine, would have plenty of familiar faces to welcome him if he made another stop on campus this spring. He is close friends with UNLV sophomore guard Oscar Bellfield — another Westchester product — and freshman guard Justin Hawkins, who played prep ball nearby at Woodland Hills Taft High.
Like Joseph, Polee said there is no leader out of those five schools.
"I'm just focusing on my season," he said in a comment similar to Joseph's. "I'll probably set up some visits when the season's over."
UNLV certainly is in no kind of crunch to fill its last open scholarship for next season.
From this year's team, which is currently 17-4 overall and 5-2 in Mountain West play, nine members of the Rebels' 11-man rotation will be back, including all five starters. The newcomers so far will be forward Quintrell Thomas, a Kansas transfer, and redshirting freshman forward Carlos Lopez. New to campus, but likely to redshirt in his first season, is 6-foot-11 Henry Buckley, who is playing this season at Central Carolina Sports Academy in Greensboro, N.C.
Landing either Joseph or Polee would almost be looked at as an added bonus on a roster which already projects to be a major threat in the national landscape in the 2010-11 season.
Much of the decision for both, too, could be seeing how things shake out at the end of the season at their prospective schools, be it with transfers coming and going or coaches staying and leaving.
Two examples Peck gave in Joseph's case, specifically, are fellow top prospects Brandon Knight and Josh Selby. Knight, ranked by Rivals as the top prospect in 2010, and Selby, a Baltimore product who earlier was committed to Tennessee, are both still wide open. Both are also, like Joseph, strongly considering UConn.
"Nowadays, I've got to be honest with you, I think it's probably not a bad thing," Peck said. "Every year there'll be one or two kids who will (wait until later to commit). You look at (Kentucky's) John Wall. He's doing fine. He made a choice that was obviously pretty good for him.
"If you're good enough, trust me, things will work out."