Southern Hospitality

Josh Southern may not play for one of the high-profile AAU teams in Michigan, but he's done just fine and wouldn't change a thing. The loyal Saginaw (Mich.) big man is a refreshing change in today's youth.

Josh Southern doesn't play for the Michigan Hurricanes or The Family, so he probably hasn't gotten as much exposure as he should.

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Saginaw High (Mich.) junior big man, who plays with the Michigan Mustangs, was still more than content with his play – and the result of it – this past summer.

``It was a great experience," Southern said. "I felt I played pretty good and I got some nice looks.

``I know I could have gotten more attention with other AAU programs and they are still trying to get me to come over there, but Norm (Oden) is a great guy and I like playing with the Mustangs."

Loyalty. Certainly not a trait that's shared by too many of his peers.

Southern is a hard-working big man who can knock down the 15-foot jumper, but realizes he needs to be more of a dominant force in the paint. He averaged a dozen points and a dozen boards as a sophomore last season.

The 16-year-old, who sports a 3.5 GPA, has taken unofficial visits to nearby Michigan State and Michigan – and also been to Kentucky, Xavier and Dayton.

Southern's tentative top five list is comprised of Kentucky, Miami, Michigan State, Ohio State and Uconn.

``The first thing for me is academics," Southern said. "Then the next thing is a good basketball program."

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