Ebanks Has His Final Four

Scout.com's No. 10 prospect in the Class of 2008, Devin Ebanks, aggressively has trimmed his list to four schools. Ebanks says he's squarely in the middle of his recruiting process.

One of the most talented prospects in the Class of 2008 has moved swiftly to trim his list. Devin Ebanks, a 6-foot-8 native of New York and current standout at Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More, is sitting on four schools.

"Right now I'm probably in the middle of the process," Ebanks said. "I pretty much have my four schools. I told everyone my list and that's what I'm sticking to. I have Miami, Indiana, Rutgers and Texas. Those are my final four."

According to Ebanks, the list contains two tiers. "Miami and Indiana are neck and neck right now."

Last weekend, before an AAU event in Bloomington, Ebanks was able to get a feel for the Hoosiers and their campus. "They had their May Classic Tournament and I love Indiana. The town, the whole town, breathes basketball. Coach Sampson is really the coach I think I need the most. He stresses defense a lot and that's what I think I need to work on. It would be a good fit for me to go to Indiana."

Miami entered the spring with the bulls-eye on its back. Most close to the situation acknowledged that the Hurricanes were the leaders for Ebanks. Coach Frank Haith chased Scout.com's No. 10 prospect and second-ranked small forward as much as possible.

"Coach Haith is the one recruiting me and he's been on top of it," Ebanks said. "He's the head coach and normally the head coach doesn't recruit as hard as the assistants. He's done it himself and he's told me I'm his No. 1 priority."

Of the four schools on Ebanks list – and he admits achieving some distance from home is important – Rutgers is far and away the closest to his home base. "Rutgers they're good with me and my mother. Coach Carter texts us, calls us and Coach Hill does the same thing. Rutgers isn't close and it's not far; it's right in the middle."

Texas is going to pop up on the lists of elite players this season and a few going forward. We'll call it the "Kevin Durant Effect" but Ebanks has seen other New Yorkers head to Austin and be successful. Royal Ivey and James Thomas are two of the guys to make the transition from the northeast.

"I think it would have been on the list anyway," Ebanks said Texas and Durant. "I really like watching Texas and their style of play. Coach Barnes really lets his players do their thing."

Ebanks has been to each program on his list except for Texas. He'd like to visit the Longhorns in June should his schedule allow it. So far, Ebanks said the process has been manageable.

"It gets overwhelming at times because sometimes you want to relax. Overall, I've enjoyed it."

Ebanks, who loves traveling, said playing AAU ball facilitates his desire to see new places and that's one of the lures of the traveling team hoops.

Ebanks, who conjures up images of a Rudy Gay, really showed the passing aspect of his game during action at the LeBron James Shooting Stars Classic. "People in the past have known me for scoring but I'm an underrated passer.

"I think the strongest part is my basketball IQ overall. The fact that I can play more than one position, it makes me feel versatile."

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