2006 Focus: Matt Gwynne

Plenty of kids get all wrapped up in rankings, but 6-9 junior Matt Gwynne has a fairly unique perspective on his abilities - and his recruitment.

In an age of boosted egos and false hype, Matt Gwynne is just about as refreshing as it gets.

``I was blessed with height, but I definitely wasn't blessed with athletic ability," the 6-9, 220-pound junior says.

``I went to North Carolina for Late Night, but there's not extremely interested like Clemson is," he adds. "They want to see my progress. I'm definitely not ready to play at North Carolina or Wake Forest right now."

Say what? A kid who is actually realistic about his abilities.

However, Gwynne may actually be selling himself short in some regards. He's not overly athletic, but he's still an above-average athlete. And while he's not ready to play in the elite echelon of the ACC just yet, schools like North Carolina and Georgia Tech will continue to watch him.

Gywnne is putting up 22.5 points and 14 boards per game this season at Ravenscroft High (N.C.), his third school in the past three years. He's versatile, plays hard and is a skilled, face-up four-man.

He averaged about 20 points as a sophomore on junior varsity at Harnett County two years ago after being a DNP-CD (did not play-coaches decision) in at least 10 games on the JV squad as a freshman.

As a sophomore, he evoked comparisons to Dallas Mavericks big man Dirk Nowitzki – mostly for his shaggy hairstyle – but also for his perimeter shooting.

It was about that time that Gwynne started to watch as much as he could of the Mavs star.

``I imitated his shot and that's how I got my shot," he said. "That's where I get a lot of my game from."

After his sophomore season, because his parents were preparing to move to another part of the state, Gwynne moved in with his aunt and uncle last season and re-classified at Gaston Day – where he averaged 14 points and 12 boards per game en route to the Class 1A state title.

Since his parents never ended up moving, Gwynne returned to his Angier, N.C. home and enrolled at Ravenscroft this season – because he would have been out of eligibility after this season at public school. Gwynne has at least an hour commute each way to school.

Gwynne is hoping to make a name for himself this summer with the Charlotte Royals, but that's not nearly as important as winning over other college coaches.

``I'm not really worried about all the hype and the rankings," Gwynne said. "The offer from Clemson gives me credibility. That's what matters to me. Not whether I'm ranked in the top 100."

Clemson has been the most active of the ACC schools, but Gwynne also likes Georgia Tech, UNC and N.C. State – which has yet to show him any interest despite him attending the Wolfpack team and elite camp.

``It's been my dream to play in the ACC," he said.

And it may not be unrealistic for him to achieve it. Scout.com will be in attendance for Gwynne's game on Tuesday night against Cary Academy and will have a post-game update.

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