2006 Update: Spencer Hawes

One of the hottest names in the 2006 recruiting class is Spencer Hawes. The big man from Washington looks to be one of the top post recruits in the class and has a lot of big time suitors.

Spencer Hawes played all summer with the loaded Friends of Hoop team out of Seattle. The were one of the top AAU teams on the circuit, thanks in large part to the great inside play of Hawes and top '05 prospect Jon Brockman. Although summer circuit competition is key, it was his battles in practice with the bruising Brockman that really made him better.

"That has helped me out so much," Hawes said of the tough practices. "There is no one you can go up against that is going to be better than him. It has prepared me."

Hawes was a standout at the Nike Camp and continued his great run at the Nike Main Event in Las Vegas. A sore foot cut the summer a week short, but by then his reputation was set.

"I feel I exceeded my expectations as a player," Hawes admitted.

"It's been real good for me, getting the exposure. It's something I didn't have. I knew I could play with these guys, but then coming out in camps and tournaments has really opened my eyes to where my level is at. It has made me see where I should be and what I should be working on. It's been great for me in terms of getting exposure."

The recruiting scene is wide open for Hawes. He really doesn't want to announce too many of his schools and is sort of in a holding pattern as he watches how this year's recruiting classes shape up.

"I am pretty wide open right now," Hawes said. "I am looking at about ten to twelve schools."

One school that will surely get a long look is Washington. Both his father and his uncle played for the Huskies and you can bet he is very aware of Lorenzo Romar's program.

"I always like UW, but I was more of a football fans because of the football atmosphere there," Hawes admitted. "I've always been a fan of them, but I would not say they are a distinct favorite right now. My dad went there, so I always paid attention to them and kind of rooted for them."

The Wildcats sure seem interested in Hawes and the interest is mutual. While he won't rank Arizona, he will admit that the Cats are in the picture.

"I am looking at them right now as one of my schools," Hawes said of the Cats.

While he won't say much about the teams that he is considering, Hawes will speak about the features that his future school needs to possess.

"I am looking at programs, and trying to see where they are at now, and where they will be when I get there," said Hawes. "I am also looking for a school with a good balance of academics."

Don't expect an early commitment from Hawes. After speaking with teammates FOH like Brockman and Martell Webster, Hawes has decided that he wants to take all his visits and make an informed decision..

"I am going to go through the whole process. I am going to take my visits and see how it works out."

His older teammates have helped him immensely with his game and have also taken the time to help him with the pitfalls of recruiting. Hawes has listened intently to what these elite level recruits have told him.

"They've helped me out a lot, just giving me little tips," Hawes said. "Also the big things, visits, what to look out for, what to do, what not to do. It's been a big help."

Hawes is a remarkably athletic big man who can run the floor and play in the paint. He's a solid rebounder and is a shot blocking presence. He's a reliable scorer, but needs to polish his jump shot and develop more moves down low. A little more weight would also benefit Hawes.

He has a realistic view of his game. He doesn't try to be someone that he isn't and that is obvious from the NBA players that he admires.

"I try to be a little like Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Those are two guys I try play like and that I like to watch. I think I kind of resemble them."

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS Hawes looks to be a priority recruit for the Wildcats. He's one of the best big men on the West Coast and has the potential to get a lot better before he steps on a college campus. Although he claims to be wide open, Washington could be tough to beat considering the family connection.

E-mail Brad at bradallis@msn.com

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