The New Southern California Basketball
SoCalHoops College News Report

Brandon Kurtz Signs LOI. . . He's a Hurricane--(April 8,1998)

Ok, so Greg Swaim was right. . . Brandon Kurtz was just funnin' everyone when he told that reporter from the Bakersfield Californian that he had "been misled" when told he would sign with Tulsa. We were skeptical.

We should never have doubted Greg. He's too good for that. What do reporters from Bakersfield know about basketball anyway.

On Wednesday, Brandon Kurtz (6'-10" Sr. C Bakersfield JC), all 255 pounds of him, signed a letter of intent with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

Kurtz averaged 19.6 points (on 59.3 percent shooting) and 11.3 rebounds per game last season. He blossomed into one of the nation's top juco prospects while leading Bakersfield to a 32-4 record and an appearance in the California junior college championship game. Bakersfield coach Mark Arce said several major programs showed interest, including UCLA, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Purdue and Rhode Island. Kurtz took just two official visits -- to Colorado State in the fall and to Tulsa last weekend. He canceled a scheduled visit this weekend to OSU.

TU's four-man fall recruiting class, led by OC John Marshall's DeAngelo McDaniel, was ranked 26th nationally by Hoop Scoop. We think it could be much higher, even without Kurtz. With him, we think it's definitely in the top ten.

Arce, who has Oklahoma ties, alerted TU to Kurtz because he thought the personalities of Self and the player would be a great fit. Arce got to know Self through a common buddy -- Oral Roberts coach Barry Hinson. Arce coached sophomores at Stillwater High School when Hinson coached freshmen there. Self said Arce, an OSU alum, also phoned the Cowboys about Kurtz. Self sent assistant coach Billy Gillispie to watch Kurtz play during a January road trip to San Diego State. Said Gillispie to Self, "Coach, you have no idea. This guy is really good."

But there was a problem, since Self had promised McDaniel that TU would not recruit another post player. And with the 6'-9" McDaniel signed there was really no reason to pursue another center. But Kurtz was too good. Self talked to McDaniel and his mother, who both agreed that if he was that good, Tulsa should sign him.

Arce said Kurtz is very skilled for a 6-10 player. He said Kurtz has great post moves, can shoot from the perimeter and is a good passer. "Tulsa has a lot of good big guys," said Arce. "But I think Brandon can go in and complete the team and help everybody get better."

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