Avery Jukes Ends Process

When you play with Louis Williams and Mike Mercer, you're going to be overshadowed. That's just a reality of the situation. However, shortly after Avery Jukes had a chance to see what life was like without the South Gwinnett backcourt duo, the 6-foot-7 1/2 forward ended his recruitment.

Avery Jukes didn't put up eye-popping numbers reserved for most SEC recruits, but he had a valid excuse. He played alongside NBA draft hopeful Louis Williams and fellow backcourt mate Mike Mercer.

Jukes, a 6-foot-7 ½, 205-pound rising senior forward at South Gwinnett High (Ga.), committed to Alabama shortly after Crimson Tide coach Mark Gottfried was enamored with him at the Kingwood Classic in Houston.

``They saw him play a couple of games on television against Oak Hill and Arlington Country Day and then in Houston," South Gwinnett coach Roger Fleetwood said. "Then they came in to the school the Monday after Houston, walked in the door and said that the reason they came is because they want him to come to Alabama."

``They saw what Avery's capable of and he fell in love with them," added Fleetwood. "He's an intelligent young man and education is very important to him."

Fleetwood said the interest had really just started to build in Jukes. Miami, Auburn, Purdue and N.C. State were some of the other suitors.

Jukes averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds as a junior, but the numbers aren't indicative of his talents.

``He knew his touches were limited with Louis and Mike," Fleetwood said. "The only way he'd really score is to go get the ball."

``People don't know it yet, but he can really shoot the ball," Fleetwood continued. "He has great form and great touch. Every time he lets it go, I think it's going in the hole."

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