2006 Focus: Darrell Arthur

Darrell Arthur is the No. 9 player in the Class of 2006 and he backed up his reputation with a big-time performance en route to the state title.

Darrell Arthur isn't quite satisfied - even after winning a state title.

Arthur, or "Slim Shady" as those close to the 6-foot-7 ½, 220-pound forward call him, earned MVP honors after putting up 22 points and 17 boards in South Oak Cliff's (Texas) rout against San Antonio Sam Houston in the Class 4A title game. It was South Oak Cliff's first title since 1992.

``That was our goal this whole year, to win the state title," Arthur said. "I could've played better at times this season. I had five points and four points in a couple of games and I know I have to do better at stepping up as a leader."

Arthur's coach on Team Texas and mentor, Jazzy Hartwell, said that the one attribute that stands out most about Arthur is level of effort.

``He never takes a play off," Hartwell said. "That's what I like about him most. He's a real humble kid – not big-headed at all. He's not into all that stuff even though he's highly recruited. It doesn't phase him."

Arthur is a big-time athlete who runs the court, blocks shots and has a versatile offensive game. He can go in the paint and get things done – and also step out and knock down the mid-range jumper.

``When he gets his ballhandling down, no one's going to be able to do anything with Darrell," Hartwell added. "That's what we're going to work on this summer."

Last summer, Arthur had a top three that included Texas, Kansas and Arizona. Now North Carolina, after Roy Williams has made the Texas big man a priority, is in good shape.

``Right now he kind of likes North Carolina," said Hartwell, who also mentioned UConn and Oklahoma as schools under consideration. "There are other schools up there, too, but he likes Carolina a lot."

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