2008's Willis Begins To Emerge

Ray Willis used an evaluation camp in Tampa last month to break onto the national radar. Anthony Long, Willis' high school coach, says look out because good things are about to happen for his junior wing forward.

He looked great in the lay-up line and even better when matched against Top 50 junior Eloy Vargas. A quick scan of the roster sheets and boom, Ray Willis was officially on the radar.

Last month at the Nike Team Florida Fall Showcase and Evaluation Camp, Willis played well enough in one day to warrant attention. Long armed and an athletic 6-foot-5 (and growing), Willis is equipped to play the small forward position and be one of the better rebounding forwards in his state.

The question is: why did it take an evaluation clinic to dig him up? "He's real under the radar," Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips coach Anthony Long said. "His mom did not let him play AAU ball this past spring and summer. The only people that really know about him are the high school coaches in this area. He's a good one."

Well, a few others are catching on. "Penn State came here explicitly to see him. They came a couple of days ago. A lot of schools watch Chris Warren and their interest is peaked in him. That's gotten started a little bit. Florida State has called me about him and same with Florida." Long hinted that VCU and George Mason also are aware of him.

"He's pretty high level. He's 6-foot-5 and he's extremely long. I don't know what his wingspan is but its long. He offensive rebounds real well and he just goes up with those arms and gets them over people. He's got a beautiful stroke (38% 3's, 82% FT). He's skinny and has to get thicker but he's high level."

Last year, Willis averaged 11 points a game. He started each contest and was on the varsity as a freshman. His rise, according to Long, has been steady each season.

"Around here they know him but he's not known throughout the country yet."

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