Oklahoma recruit to join GW

Xavier Alexander, a 6-foot-7 recruit from Oklahoma City is not tempering expectations for his arrival in Foggy Bottom by calling himself “a sure winner” who will do “whatever it takes to get the job done” for GW’s men’s basketball team.

The 6A Conference Player of the Year in Oklahoma is part of a new class that shows the expanding national recruiting prowess that head coach Karl Hobbs has achieved in Foggy Bottom. Alexander is one piece of a class that is expected to bring in New York City guard Miles Beatty and New Jersey power forward Jabari Edwards.

Alexander was just a 5-foot-11 freshman when he started playing for coach Rodney Dindy at Midwest City High School. Now eight inches taller (and still growing, Dindy said), Alexander averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds in leading the Bombers to the state championship.

“Winning the championship was kind of a relief,” Alexander said in a phone interview. “I accomplished all I could in high school, so now it’s time to take it up a notch.”

The championship concluded Alexander’s first injury-free season, Dindy said, after battling knee and hand injuries during his first three years. Being fully healthy for the first time allowed him to showcase what he can do, making Hobbs look prophetic for securing a verbal commitment before last season. Hobbs declined comment on next year’s recruiting class but said he has two letters of intent.

During GW’s annual preseason open practice, Hobbs alluded to Alexander and touted him as the type of player GW could not have signed a few years ago, when the Colonials were limited to recruiting players from mostly the East Coast and overseas.

Alexander became interested in GW after receiving a letter from the school a few years ago, he said. His interest peaked after watching the team’s recent success, but the Colonials received a reputation boost from an unlikely source: Xavier’s brother De’Angelo, who played for Charlotte and scored 32 points against GW in 2006.

“He was a big influence on me going to GW,” Xavier said. “Being my brother, he knows how I play and told me that GW would fit my style of play perfectly.”

“I like how they run and push, and how open their offense is,” he added. “I like how they use their big guards.”

GW’s style will be familiar to Alexander, whose high school team has a reputation for running at every opportunity in order to put pressure on and wear out opponents.

“He should fit right in (at GW),” Dindy said.

While De’Angelo led the A-10 in three-pointers in 2005-2006, Dindy said Xavier will have to work on extending his range during his time at GW. Alexander said he models his game after Dallas Mavericks forward Josh Howard and is described by Dindy and himself as an athletic, all-around player who can play at least three positions.

GW is expected to have two similar, more experienced swingmen next year in rising junior Cheyenne Moore and rising sophomore Wynton Witherspoon, but Alexander, who said the GW players he has met “remind me of myself,” will likely receive playing time from the beginning. Regardless, he is looking forward to being pushed by Hobbs, he said.

“High school got kind of boring,” Alexander said. “It’s going to be a real challenge next year, like starting all over. I think I’m ready.”

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