T.O.C. Up Close: Rudy Gay

RALEIGH, N.C. – The only thing stopping Rudy Gay and Baltimore's Cecil Cirk on Saturday morning was the early wake-up call.

"We just don't play well in the morning," CK coach Anthony Lewis said after his team's win over Team Richmond here at N.C. State's old Reynolds Coliseum. "We're undefeated this spring after noon. But at 8:30? Rudy's a little bit better than that."


Because Rudy Gay was pretty darn good in the game against Richmond: The 6-8 SF/PF from Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists.

The long-armed wing had an eyes-at-the-rim oop finish in the first half and a monster tap dunk in the second.

He also showed a baseline turnaround, an ability to catch and finish in traffic in the paint and a lunging block of a perimeter three attempt.

It's easy to see why his list of schools features Maryland, Syracuse, Villanova, Indiana, Virginia, UConn and Arizona.

That list is fluid, though, given the fact that Gay's still very early in the decision process – and admittedly so.

"I just want to go somewhere I fit in," he said. "Somewhere I feel comfortable."

But he's made no unofficials. So his "feel" right now remains somewhat limited.

Know this, however: He'll be an asset wherever he goes. That baby face suggests development curve nowhere close to finished. As does the inch of growth and 15 pounds he's packed on in the past year.

The question at this point concerns his college position – or, for that matter, his current position. Is he a three or a four? And what WILL he be?

Gay, for one, says he's both – but that the three spot is his future.

"I'd like to work on strength and ball-handling and shooting," he said. "I want to be a three, and I need to handle it better – but I'll do it."

Lewis has no doubt.

"If his work ethic continues as it is now, he's going to be as good as he wants to be," the coach said before heading out of the gym. "The only thing that can stop Rudy is Rudy."

And maybe an early morning here or there.

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