2007 Intro: Braxton Dupree

Braxton Dupree is a name to watch among the big guys in the Class of 2007. He's big, strong and already is picking up steam from college coaches for more than just his size.

It's not quite the same as a Greg Paulus, an Austin Jackson or even a Kevin Bookout – but we're going to give chess the benefit of the doubt and call Braxton Dupree a two-sport guy.

Dupree is better-known as a 6-foot-8, 260-pound junior big man at Calvert Hall (Md.) who occupies the No. 47 spot in Scout.com's recently released Class of 2007 rankings.

``I'm a chess player," Dupree said. "I play at school – and also play against my dad. I've been playing since I was 12 years old, but now I always beat my dad."

Dupree is also a thinking-man's basketball player. Instead of getting out and using his powerful body, at times he prefers to play a more cerebral game.

``I've heard it before that I need to get more aggressive," Dupree said. "I think I've gotten more aggressive lately."

Dupree didn't do a whole lot this summer, especially in July. He played with the Baltimore Stars at the Super Showcase and the AAU Nationals and also attended the Nike Camp, but his breakout event was the Rumble in the Bronx.

``We were missing a lot of our guys," Dupree said. "We were facing adversity and I think I stepped up for my team and became more of a leader."

Dupree still needs to improve his quickness and become more consistent with a mid-range jumper, but he's got soft hands, good footwork and is a physical presence in the paint when he wants to be.

For now, Dupree said he's got a handful of offers – from Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Clemson. Georgetown, Miami, N.C. State and Stanford are also in the mix.

``I'd like to wait it out even though Maryland is my favorite school," Dupree said.

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