On Campus: Laurinburg Prep

<b>LAURINBURG, N.C. –</b> Chris Chaney has six kids over 6-foot-8 and three more that topple the 6-foot-11 mark. Yeah, that's right, Chaney has himself enough college prospects to split the squad into three teams.

Laurinburg Prep is inventing a new style of play. Well, maybe not, but head coach Chris Chaney is going to tweak the system a little this year in order to accommodate a roster that pushes 20.

Essentially, Chaney will borrow a page out of the hockey playbook and run guys in and out in shifts. The coach wants to push the limits of tempo and the goal is to go as fast as his players can go –- up and down the floor, end to end and they won't be calling timeouts in between.

The style might tire out most teams, but Chaney isn't worried he'll use depth to his advantage. "[The other team] will get tired too you know," Chaney said.

One thing is certain, teams are going to get real tired seeing guys like Magnum Rolle and Shawne Williams. Rolle, a 6-foot-11 stud combo forward who will eventually morph into a full-time small forward, is our early pick for most improved in the Class of 2005.

After watching Rolle workout last week, it would appear that even LSU might not know how much of impact guy they could have on their hands. Why? Why get so excited about a guy who is a burger over 200 pounds? Well, this young man has been playing hoops for just over 3 seasons and he's gotten significantly better each time we've seen him.

Rolle has outside game and inside ambitions. He's ready to work, get better and frankly, he's got as much room to grow as any elite prospect in the Class of 2005. Plus, he's motivated.

"I'm trying to live the American dream," Rolle said. "I want to take care of my mother instead of her taking care of me." But, unlike his American born and bred peers, Rolle is realistic about his need for development and is in no rush to grab the brass ring.

"I just want a good, calm, slow paced, solid career," Rolle said. "The more I play, the more I progress. Right now I'm just trying to catch up and get ahead of the game."

We're keeping serious tabs on Rolle and consider him a candidate for post-season all-star games … all of them. Speaking of post-season all-star candidates, Shawne Williams is the highest profile guy at Laurinburg and for good reason. The Memphis standout remains one of the best scoring forwards in the country.

Beginning with Williams, there's a complete Memphis flavor to the roster at Laurinburg. John Calipari might as well be an assistant coach there this season. Robert Dozier, a big time small forward with a beautiful jumper is also on the roster.

Continuing the Tigers theme, committed guard Antonio Anderson is also in the house. Once committed power forward Kareem Cooper, a reclassified big man with a lefty stroke from downtown, is also there.

Now for the non-Memphis commitments.

There's been a lot of buzz about the Washington Huskies this week and rightfully so. However, let's not forget about wing Roburt Sallie. This kid is a reliable 3-point shooter and a good looking college player.

Iowa State head coach Wayne Morgan spends a lot of time in the Tar Heel state these days. Between Shawn Taggart at Mount Zion and 6-foot-11 Kellen Lee at Laurinburg, you'd think he might need a timeshare instead of a hotel room. Lee is eager to learn, needs to get stronger but has the look of a player after he gains some weight.

LSU stashed another prospect at the ‘Burg in the form of Chris Johnson. Physically he's not ready but he's got talent and eventually could be a small forward. The Cornhuskers have a point guard – Jamel White – running the show there as well.

The list of uncommitted prospects is headed up by a familiar name. Qua Marbury, a former Atlanta Celtic is receiving attention from mid and high-major programs because he's a big time athlete with a stroke.

Ismail Njie, a Senegalese center, gets a little better each time out. Serbian shooting guard Nikola Stevanovic isn't the most fleet of foot but he makes shots and mid-majors will look hard. Guards David Marek (Czech Republic), Elvis Lora (committed to FIU), Greg Grimes and Quantez Robertson will also be contributors.


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