Devils Make The Cut For Keefe

One of the most interesting prospects in the class of 2006 hails from Rancho Santa Margarita High in California. He's ranked in the top 20 in the junior class, and he's got the Devils in his top five.

Let's get one thing straight with James Keefe. He's not related to former Stanford standout and NBA player Adam Keefe.

However, one thing that James Keefe could have in common with the "other" Keefe that also grew up in California is that he could be a star in college and eventually make money playing professional basketball one day.

James Keefe is a 6-8 ½, 205-pound junior forward at Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) who averaged a modest 10 points and 10 boards per game last season, but he had a strong enough summer and shows so much potential that all of the big-time schools are all over him.

He's mobile, has good hands, works hard in the paint and is extremely active on both ends of the floor. He'll still need to extend his shooting range and become better at beating defenders off the dribble, but he's talented enough to earn a spot in Top 26 in the Class of 2006. However, Keefe is ahead of the game and has already dwindled his list to five schools: Duke, UCLA, Arizona, Stanford and Notre Dame.

``I want to find the right fit both academically and with the basketball program," said Keefe, who sports a 3.5 GPA. "I want to find the right environment."

Keefe said that location won't be much of a factor – providing he finds the right fit away from the west coast.

Keefe has already scheduled a trip to Arizona for Midnight Madness and plans to get to a Notre Dame football game this season. He's been to UCLA numerous times, so Duke and Stanford are the two schools that he has yet to set anything up with.

``I'm open right now between the five schools," Keefe said. "Until I see all of them, there is no leader."

``But I do like Duke because of the tradition and Coach K," he added. "The academics and how much the degree will help after college. Also, Coach K will help prepare me for the next level."

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