Previewing 2006 Post Players

It's never to early to start paying attention to some promising young post players from the class of 2006. TDD's Clint Jackson runs down some names to watch from the sophomore class. These cats are large, talented and already being recruited by several of the top programs in the country.

6-foot-9 F/C Derrick Caracter -- (Scotch Plains-Fanwood-- Scotch Plains, NJ) -- Caracter is probably one of the best post players in the country right now. A big 280 pound space eater with skills and nimble feet. He can and will score on just about anyone. A certain elite high major who can select where he wants to go to school. Think of a cross between Sean May and Mario Austin.

6-foot-11 C Greg Oden -- (Lawrence North-- Indianapolis, IN) Several scouts and recruiting guys have already tabbed the athletic Oden as a NBA player right out of high school. He's got the reputation as a big, agile and explosive post player with advanced skills. It's going to be interesting to see how he reacts this summer when everyone is gunning for him. He'll have a big target on his back, that's for sure.

7-foot-1 C Jason Bennett -- (Arlington Country Day-- Jacksonville, FL) The skilled big guy has had his name all over web sites for two years already. He's big and has some back-to-the-basket skills. Getting tougher and increasing his foot skills will certainly help round out his game. Could remind some observers of Eric Chenowith.

6-foot-6 F/C Shamari Spears -- (Blair Academy-- Blairstown, NJ) Spears is a tough, yet undersized power forward who battles hard. At 240 pounds -- he's unstoppable near the basket on this level. He's a good athlete who finds ways to score. If you recognize the name of the school that he attends, it's because he attends the same prep program as current Duke forward Luol Deng.

6-foot-8 F Alex Stepheson -- (Harvard Westlake-- North Hollywood, CA) The west coast analysts are already touting this lanky interior forward as an elite high major type. We haven't seen him just yet -- but those guys see a lot of players on the left coast and their evaluations are usually dead on. His reputation is that of an athletic, versatile and skilled power forward.

7-foot-0 C Brian Zoubek -- (Haddonfield HS -- Haddonfield, NJ) The skilled big man from South Jersey has great size at 7-0 and 245 pounds and he's already visited Duke. Good footwork, wide shoulders and mobility make the New Jersey big man one to watch in the loaded sophomore class. He's already stated that Duke was his dream school. As to whether his dream comes true? He's got some time to prove it.

6-foot-8 F Terrell and Jerrell Williams -- (Paterson Catholic-- Paterson, NJ) - Loved these guys the first time I saw them. They'll get you plenty of rebounds and blocked shots due to their athletic ability and they can score from the perimeter. They're probably combo-forwards right now, but you have to love the potential of having them on the court together wreaking havoc in the lane. Watch them this spring and summer with the T5T Playaz.

6-foot-9 F/C Vernon Macklin (pictured right) – (IC Norcom HS -- Portsmouth, VA) We've been fortunate enough to have had a half dozen viewings of Macklin already and it's easy to see what all of the buzz is about. He's very long. Think Jarred Jeffries or Ndudi Ebi. He's athletic and full of potential, but he's got a lot of skill work to do as he gets older. Nonetheless -- his length and quickness are going to spell trouble once his game catches up with his body.

6-foot-8 F Brandon Wright -- (Brentwood Academy -- Brentwood, TN) Comes from David Harrison's old high school, but could evolve into a better and certainly more rounded player than Harrison. Dave Telep compares him to Chris Bosh in terms of his body, and he's already a big time athlete and shot blocker. He'll likely suit up for the Tennessee Travelers this spring, and if so -- we'll devote plenty of evaluation time at the Boo Williams Nike event in April.

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