Duke Eyeing 06 Center?

As one of the best big men in his class, there's no question that 6-foot-10, 215 pound Seattle big man Spencer Hawes is going to be a hot commodity in the class of 2006. Already touted as one of the more skilled big guys around, Hawes has already popped up on a number of recruiting radars, including Duke's.

"I get letters all the times from a number of schools," said Spencer Hawes. "Washington, Arizona, UCLA, Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Duke, Notre Dame, NC State, Utah, Gonzaga, and Stanford all send things pretty regularly."

Hawes, who plays alongside Duke target Jon Brockman on Seattle's AAU squad Friends of the Hoop, is rated as the No. 9 player in the class of 2006 by TheInsiders.com's Top 25. He is described by west coast analyst Greg Hicks as being "very skilled, with a nice touch to about 17 feet. He's got an excellent feel for the game, with good feet and hands."

Add his on court skills and work ethic to his classroom performance (a 3.8 grade point average to date) and it's easy to see why so many high major programs have made Hawes a priority in the junior class.

"I'm mainly looking for a school that the combination of great academics and basketball, but also somewhere that just seems to feel comfortable for me. Right now it's about listening and learning about the schools on my list. I'm not even close to trimming it."

So what about the Blue Devils' recruiting pitches to date?

"I grew up a rooting for Duke as a national kind of program. They've sent letters letting me know they are interested. I'm going to watch and see what Jon [Brockman] does with his decision. If he were to go there, it would make it easier to look at Duke since I'd know someone there."

And does he have any ideas on if that scenario could play out in the coming weeks?

"I get the feeling that the visit with Coach K and the visit to Duke will be the deciding factor one way or another for him. If Duke is a good fit for him, I think he'll go east."

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