Xavier Gibson: Mounting Pressure

One year ago, Xavier Gibson had just started to make a name for himself on the national level. Now, the Dothan Northview High (Ala.) rising junior big man is someone who opponents look forward to going up against because of his reputation and lofty ranking.

Xavier Gibson admits that there was some pressure on him coming into April.

A year ago, the long 6-foot-10, 215-pound Alabama native was a virtual no-name who didn't have any major expectations placed upon him when he took the court. That changed after the Nike Jamboree following his sophomore year and opponents are now fully aware of his lofty status and ranking when they face him.

``I won't lie, it was a little pressure," said the Dothan Northview (Ala.) standout. "I came off a foot injury and I feel like I could have played better. This year I want to show people I'm as good as everyone else."

Gibson, 17, went to Cincinnati a week or so ago to spend a few weeks with his uncle – former Bearcats guard Terrence Gibson.

He'll return at the end of the month and then take to the road with his Georgia Blazers teammates.

Gibson said he wanted to do a better job of rebounding the ball than he did in April, but part of that is a strength issue.

``I feel like I have as good a face-up game as any big man in the country," Gibson said.

Gibson said being able to use the face-up game and play both forward spots will be critical in his decision-making process – along with playing time.

For now, the schools who have expressed the most interest are Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia and Georgia Tech.

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