2005 Focus: Jamelle Cornley

Turn on your television set and watch the Texas Longhorns. Take a long hard look at P.J. Tucker. The UT freshman plays the game the same way Columbus (OH) Brookhaven junior Jamelle Cornley approaches his craft.

Jamelle Cornley won't disagree; he plays the game with the same intensity and attitude that P.J. Tucker of Texas approaches basketball. The knock on both has always been size but Tucker's success has Cornley excited.

"I played against him my freshman year when I went to the Super Showcase with Drew Lavender and Brandon Foust. He's a real, tough strong player. He's real relentless when it comes to board. He's real strong."

And so is the 6-5 Cornley. And tough too.

Last July at Nike Camp, Cornley's hand was badly injured. He played anyway. "It was just about broken. I had worked so hard during the summer that I just went ahead and played."

Cornley is playing his junior season with the same reckless abandon he showed last summer. He's putting up 29 points and 16 rebounds a contest. Colleges are taking notice, though some will be turned off by his size. Others will value him for who he is: a worker inside and relentless on the glass.

Last Thursday, Pittsburgh was at practice. Toledo, Wisconsin, Marquette, Dayton, Louisville and Cincinnati are in the chase. Though he doesn't have an offer from the school yet, he's got a favorite.

"Probably the leader would be Michigan," Cornley said. "I talked to Coach Amaker and he's understanding. He told me up front what he's looking for. From the last couple of years he's turned the program around. Knowing his team wasn't going to the tournament, he still had them playing hard."

And playing hard is what Jamelle Cornley is all about.


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