Top California PF Likes Duke

Although he's only a sophomore, 6-9, 210 pound Alex Stepheson is already on many high major radars. From Arizona to UCLA to Washington to Kentucky -- he's already hearing of interest from many of the top basketball programs in the nation.

And one particular school that he'd like to add to his list is the Duke Blue Devils.

"Man, I've always liked them since I was a kid," said Alex Stepheson, from his North Hollywood home. "It just seems so awesome with Coach K and those fans. That place just seems crazy. It's just that atmosphere."

Stepheson ran with the Pump-N-Run squad last summer, along with the likes of Jordan Farmar and Lorenzo Mata. And while he certainly turned the heads of some coaches while running with the powerhouse AAU squad -- he still hasn't heard anything from the basketball staff in Durham.

"Coach K was at one of my club games last year," he said. "But I still haven't gotten (much) interest from them yet. But if they were to come after me, it'd be tough to turn down."

When asked what he'd be looking for in regards to his ultimate collegiate destination -- Stepheson is a man who knows what he wants.

In fact -- he knows EXACTLY what he wants.

"It's going to really depend on how much I like the coach, and how well I get along with the players. Academics are very important too. They'll play a big role. And of, how well I fit in with their plans."

Many of the national recruiting analysts have yet to fully evaluate Stepheson, but several west coast analysts have already given their stamp of approval.

For instance, West Coast recruiting analyst Greg Hicks thinks that Stepheson is a sure fire big timer in the post.

"Stepheson is a great-looking prospect with all the tools to be an elite player in his class," said Hicks.

"He's very well-coordinated for a young big man," he continued. "He's got the kind of body that gets coaches excited. He's got very long arms and a frame that should easily add weight and muscle. He's got good feet and hands, and shows signs that he'll be able to play both inside and away from the basket. He handles and passes well for a young big, with a decent touch to about 12-15 feet. He's also an active defender, who challenges just about every shot in the paint."

And Stepheson added his own analysis as well...

"I play the forward," he said. "A little inside and a little bit outside. I like to turn and face my man a lot. I like to dunk on people too because I'm pretty athletic."

Stepheson will enter his junior year with a 3.0 GPA at Harvard Westlake in the fall, and in the meantime -- he'll be looking for some attention from Duke.

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