2006 Focus: Perry Stevenson

Perry Stevenson made the underclassman all-star game at ABCD last July, so he's had some exposure. However, the Louisiana big man has improved by leaps and bounds over the past six months.

The Class of 2006 is loaded with big guys and while Perry Stevenson may not be considered on par with some of the elite guys, he's not all that far behind.

The 6-9, 190-pound Northside (La.) High junior is long, versatile and rarely takes a play off. There's no question he needs to get stronger and improve his low-post game, but he's got a world of potential.

``He's really improved his offensive game," Northside coach Rick LeBato said. "We're shooting for him to be one of the top players when he goes to ABCD in July."

Stevenson made the ABCD underclassman all-star game last summer, but his game has improved significantly since the trip to New Jersey.

``He can guard a forward, can guard inside the post and actually go out and guard on the perimeter, also," added LeBato.

When LeBato first got Stevenson as a freshman, he was a 6-5, 155-pound scrawny kid. Now he's still thin, but he's got stronger and been able to withstand the punishment from bigger players of late due to hitting the weight room.

Stevenson, 17, averaged 10 points a year ago, but is coming off a 17-point performance in the team's first loss against Gulf Shores Academy (Texas) and a 16-point outing in a victory against Heritage Christian (Texas).

Stevenson's biggest asset isn't putting the ball in the basket right now, though. He's a big-time shot-blocker who has swatted more than 250 shots each of his first two seasons at Northside.

Despite being a relative unknown nationally, Stevenson and his coach both said that Kansas and Kentucky are both heavily involved – as if LSU and Texas Tech.

``I haven't been as exposed as some of the other guys," Stevenson said. "But I think going to ABCD helped me a lot."

``I want to go somewhere I fit into the program and the style of play," he added. "Most likely, I want to leave the state – but LSU is still in the running."


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