Boateng Eyes Return To Action

Notice to college coaches: St. Andrew's (Del.) 6-10 junior Eric Boateng, arguably the hottest commodity among the Class of 2005, will return to the court one week from today.

Not that his absence since the first game of the season due to a broken bone in his foot has stopped the coaching turnstile in Delaware. However, this is likely to ramp up the visitor list.

Eric Boateng is ready. For game action.

The England native began practicing earlier this week and has progressed in the last couple days, according to coach Robert Rue.

``Things are going well. He's getting better every day," Rue said. "He still needs to get back into shape, but he looks good. He's starting to play with a lot of confidence again."

``I'm not sure how many minutes we'll give him in his first game back," Rue added. "I'm not even going to try and predict it."

``I think I'm about 75 to 80 percent right now," Boateng said. Boateng, 18, admitted that the first practice back didn't go all that well, but the last two have been much better.

``It's been tough not being able to play for the last couple months," Boateng said. "But the one thing I've really learned is to not take the game for granted because it can be over in a split-second. It's made me more hungry."

That's not good news for undersized Delaware foes, but quite the contrary for the big-timers that appear to be making Boateng a priority: The list of Who's Who reads Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Kansas, Michigan, Villanova, Georgetown, Notre Dame, UCLA, BC, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Xavier and Virginia. Boateng has taken unofficial trips to Villanova, Georgetown, UNC, Duke and BC.

Boateng said that he will come up with a shortened list in the two weeks or so, but Rue clarified that, saying that his star will do quite a bit of research in the next week (the students just got finished with exams) and start to begin the process of narrowing down his list of 30 or so schools.

``Schools send me letters and call on me to let me know they're thinking about me and I really appreciate that," said the soft-spoken big man. "I have thought a lot of where I want to be while I've been out. I think I'm about two weeks or so from getting it down to schools that fit my criteria. Academics are the most important thing for me, of course."

While Boateng wouldn't divulge exactly who will comprise that shortened list – partially because he doesn't yet know – he said say that there's a good bet Duke, UNC and N.C. State will also make the cut.

``I left those visits with good feelings," he said.

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