2005 Focus: Richard Hendrix

Richard Hendrix didn't really get to showcase his perimeter skills as he wanted this past summer, but that had no bearing on a bunch of big-time schools trying to get the inside track in landing him.

Richard Hendrix (No. 7, TheInsiders.com) wasn't all that happy with his showing this past summer. The 6-8, 250-pound Athens High (Ala.) junior wanted to show people he could do more than just bang and score in the paint, but it really never happened.

``I wanted to prove to people I could step out and shoot it," Hendrix said. "But I just didn't get to show anyone my outside game like I planned on."

Hendrix admits he had a much better showing at the shoe camps than with the Alabama Lasers, but that still shouldn't have much impact on his recruitment.

He's already taken unofficials to Alabama, Vanderbilt, Auburn and Tennessee while North Carolina, Duke and Oklahoma are also in the fold and could receive visits – either unofficial or official – in the future.

In one day last month, North Carolina, Indiana, Stanford, LSU and Tennessee all had representatives in the gym watching Hendrix work out.

``Those are some of the schools I like, but I'm still pretty wide open," Hendrix said. "I want to go somewhere that's a home-like environment. Somewhere I'm comfortable and somewhere I can play."

According to Alabama Lasers head man Wig Pearson, Duke is in the infancy stages of recruiting Hendrix while UNC is much further along.

``Duke is writing him, but Carolina is recruiting him pretty hard," Pearson said. "I know he likes Carolina and will probably visit there."

Hendrix, who averaged 22.4 points, 13.6 boards and 5.1 blocks per game as a sophomore, is tough to move in the paint and has good fundamentals in the low-post. His 3.7 GPA also translates onto the court, where he displays the intelligence of a coach's son (his father, Venard, is his high school coach). While Hendrix is hopeful of showing coaches his perimeter skills, he'll do most of his damage on the inside.

``He's had the inside game all the time," Pearson said. "He's starting to develop his outside game. We let him play some at the three at Boo Williams and he shot it well. He took people off the dribble. He's extremely quick for a player his size and is just a real student of the game."

He'll need to still improve his athleticism, jumping ability and ballhandling skills, but that's not what will earn him a meal ticket to the next level – and possibly beyond.

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