“It was excellent visit and I probably met the most polite people I ever met in my life,” McKissic said. “Everybody was really caring, the city of Phoenix is a beautiful place and on the visit I knew this is where I wanted to be. I don’t want to play in any conference but the Pac-12. It’s great competition and I get to play against players I played against in the last few years.
“I went back and talked things over with my family. They weren’t there with me on the trip, so I was sitting there and describing the school to them. They know what I want to do after college and where I can get the best exposure and Arizona State was definitely the best place for me. I was just blown away.”
A few months ago McKissic was very close to signing with West Virginia, but the Mountaineers decided to eventually go in a different direction. University of Detroit was another program the guard was seriously considering along with ASU, and Nevada was showing interest as well.
Last season McKissic averaged 23 points and nine rebounds per game. With the loss of Evan Gordon who transferred from ASU to Indiana last month, the Sun Devils were faced with the prospect of starting a true freshman in the backcourt along with Jahii Carson.
McKissic, who scored a career-high 46 points last season, brings a more physical and athletic element to that shooting guard role, aside of course from being a prolific scorer.
“More than just being a good offensive player,” McKissic stated, “the (ASU) coaches want me to be a defensive stopper. I up to any challenge and I don’t shy away from anything. ASU is where I want to be and I’m gonna do what I have to do.
“The coaches told me that they were blown away by how well I can shoot and my athleticism. Those are my strong suits. I know I have to work more on my defense and I’m pretty excited working hard in the summer to get better.”
McKissic noted the campus size and the amenities of the Weatherup Center as aspects that have really impressed him during his time in Tempe, and just as impactful was talking to Carson a player who he has watched several times on TV, as well as working out with him during the visit.
“I talked to Jahii a lot and he’s a player that makes other players better,” McKissic stated. “He told me that he was blown away with the way I played and said that he was excited to be running with me this year.
“Watching him play on TV I saw him any times just go off, and it was always in the back of my mind what would it be like playing with a player like him. Never thought this would manifest especially with ASU being one of the last colleges to recruit me. With having somebody like him I feel we can be one of the best backcourts in the nation.”
It's been four years since Shaquille McKissic graduated from Kentridge High School in Seattle; he averaged 15.4 points per game and earned recognition as one of the top combo guards in the Northwest. He signed with Northern Idaho, but never enrolled there, instead enrolling at Edmonds Community College in Lynwood, Wash. He played the 2009-10 season there, but then sat out the next two seasons for what he termed as "personal reasons that have made me a better person and made me the person I am now."
McKissic said that he plans to sign his paperwork with ASU later this week. The guard will miss the team’s trip to China, since he will arrive on campus the last week of August after fulfilling his remaining academic obligations at Edmonds.