Despite rumors Brockman still listing six

One of the biggest names in the 2005 recruiting class is Jon Brockman. Despite being a bit undersized and not the most athletic player, Brockman is one of the most coveted big men in the class. He could wind up being the best post player to go to college.

Brockman is only 6-7, but at more than 240 pounds he's possibly the strongest player in the class. He is almost unstoppable down low, using his strength and great anticipation to dominate taller players.

Brockman concluded the summer with a title at the Nike Main Event in Las Vegas and a good showing at the Best of Summer tournament in Los Angeles. He'll now take a week or two off and then dive head first into recruiting.

"I'm not really worried about it," Brockman said of his recruitment. "I'm just having fun."

He has long had six schools and all six are still in it. Washington, Gonzaga, UCLA, Arizona, Duke and North Carolina are all involved for his services and all have something to offer.

Brockman discussed the six schools with me.

He is most familiar with Washington. He knows some of the guys on the team from the local health clubs, but is not as close with the team as his teammates Mitchell Johnson and Martell Webster are. "They play at the Pro Club in Bellevue, a few of them do, and I play there," Brockman said of the Huskies. "I think I've played with them once, I think. Our team practices at UW, but we don't play against those guys."

In-state Gonzaga has some appeal.

"I like coach Few. They have been in the top 10 for I don't know how many years. They are a smaller school with a really good education."

Arizona's tradition of sending players to the NBA is an obvious appeal.

"They produce players," Brockman said. "A lot of their players go to the NBA. Lute Olson is a really good guy as are the rest of the coaching staff."

UCLA is rumored to be in very good shape. Brockman did not tip his hand, but had good things to say about the Bruins.

"You can't really find a better place for finding connections after basketball because it is right there in LA," Brockman explained. "Coach Howland turned it around at Pittsburgh and he has a great recruiting class coming in."

Duke is another school that the internet rumor mill has as a favorite. He lumped both the Blue Devils and North Carolina together. Was this a clever ruse or are the reports of his not wanting to leave the West Coast true?

"Tradition, Roy Williams is a great coach," Brockman said, beginning with the Tar Heels. "Same thing at Duke. I like them both."

Brockman is not the most athletic player you will see. He can run the floor, but is not as explosive as other big men. Despite not having the hops, Brockman dominates on the glass.

"Timing is a lot of it because I don't jump as high as some of those guys," Brockman said, revealing some secrets. "Getting in position, position is the most important part. If you have good position you can get them away from the ball and it will fall right into your lap."

Brockman claims to be wide open. He plays it close to the vest and seems intent on exploring all his options. Right now the plan is to take all five visits, but he does admit that he'd commit if he found the right fit.

So what is he looking for? A personal relationship with the coaching staff is a key.

"I want coaches that I can be personal with and kind of get to know," Brockman said. "I want to be able to keep in touch with them afterwards. I want to fit in with the team."

His Friends of Hoop AAU team is loaded with top tier talent. Brockman, Martell Webster and Mitchell Johnson are not a package deal per se, but they would not hesitate to play together at the next level.

"We talked about it," Brockman said of playing together in college. "We think we play pretty good together, so we have batted it about a little bit."

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS: All of the rumors say that Brockman favors UW, UCLA and Duke, but it is by no means a done deal. He dislikes the recruiting process, but feels the need to explore his options before making a decision. If the Wildcats do indeed trail for his services, they still have a shot at making an impression. We've heard that Lute Olson recently spoke with his parents and has made a good impression on them.

E-mail Brad atbradallis@msn.com


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