2008 Center has a ton of upside

It's a little early to be projecting great things for Andy Poling. After all he's just a freshman in high school. He's by no means a lock, but he may wind up being a big time recruit down the line.

Right now Poling is thin and needs polish. He's also pushing 7-foot, moves well and has nice inside moves. He needs a lot strength and experience, but the basic skills are there. Most experts who have seen him play have seen enough upside to consider him a player to keep an eye on.

It isn't just the media who is looking at Poling, college coaches are well aware of the young man from Westview High School in Portland.

"They send me letters and stuff," Poling said "Obviously they have to get started early, it is part of their job. Once you start high school to get it going."

The summer recruiting season is just starting and Poling has not looked too much at potential schools. That will be changing.

"I'm not really taking serious looks right now, but I am looking a little," Poling admitted. "I talk to the older guys about it. Ask them how they make their decisions, what they look for in a college."

He has not really thought about what he is specifically looking for in a program, but knows a lot of it could come down to instincts.

"It comes down to a gut feeling," Poling explained. "How you feel about a program, the people there and the campus."

Right now he isn't ready to list schools. He is pretty wide open, both in terms of programs and locations. He's originally from the upper Midwest and now lives in the Pacific Northwest, but neither region has an advantage as of yet.

"My family is from Michigan so I like State," Poling said. "In terms of me going somewhere, it really doesn't matter. I really haven't seen anywhere in terms of campuses. To me it is not really important, just what it would be like if I went there."

Right now he is focused on getting better and making a name for himself. He's playing this summer with the Portland Panthers, a team with some talent in the form of Phil Nelson, Robert Sacre and Seth Tarver among others. This summer he'll play a complimentary role while he improves.

"I've got to lift weights in the offseason," he said. "I've got to add some muscle. I have to work on taking my shots. I have that little low post move, I just don't use it a lot in these tournaments. I have to work on using those and the hook shot. I have to work on finishing."

Right now he isn't listing Arizona, or any other school for that matter, but we've heard the Cats have sent him letters and will likely be in the thick of his recruiting, at least in the early stages.

E-mail Brad at bradallis@msn.com

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