JUCO Junction caught up with 6-5 Jeff Varem of Vincennes J.C. in Indiana on Friday, and he shared his thoughts on why he signed with Washington State this week.
"It came down to Washington State and Wyoming," Varem said. "It came down to me being happy, and I felt that Washington State was honest with me."
Varem took official visits to both Washington State and Wyoming last month. Villanova was also in the picture, but the Wildcats faded over the past few weeks. In fact, Varem never visited the Big East school.
In fact, had Varem been offered by Villanova and elected to attend there, he would have had to take some extra courses this summer just to enroll there in the fall.
Varem had developed close relationships with a pair of assistant coaches at Washington State and Wyoming. He got to know Cowboys Asst. Coach Joe Dooley when he was at New Mexico and Cougars Asst. Coach Tony Bennett when he was at Wisconsin.
"Tony Bennett is like a brother to me," Varem said. "If I have problems, I could talk to him about them."
"He made me trust him," Varem continued. "I think the staff at Washington State is in my best interest and will push me to meet goals."
Varem signed his letter on late Wednesday night, and JUCO Junction broke the story the next morning with the help of Bret Swanson of Swanny's Roundball Review.
Varem didn't put up huge numbers as a sophomore for the Blazers, but that's more of a testament to his versatility and unselfishness. He's a player who is difficult to classify by position, but he thrives on mismatches due to his strong and rugged frame.
Varem has good passing and ball handling skills, and also possesses excellent strength and adequate athleticism. The one thing he doesn't do great at this stage is shoot the three pointer, but he does so many other things well that more than compensate for that shortcoming.
"I think they plan on playing me on the perimeter," he surmised. "But I will do whatever they need me to do to help the team."
Varem is the second junior college player to sign with Vincennes this spring. Last month, the College of Eastern Utah's Anthony Grant inked with the Cougars.