Duke Eyeing Top 2006 Center

Earlier this month the Blue Devils lost out on one of the state of Washington's best prospects when Jon Brockman decided the allure of playing for the hometown program was too great to pass up. Now there's another supremely talented big man in the class of 2006, but will Duke take another shot in the Pacific Northwest?

"It's been getting a little crazy," says 6-foot-10 Washington big man Spencer Hawes. "I haven't really started to compare and analyze anything yet, but I have an idea of what I may be looking for."

And what he's looking for is the complete package of academics and basketball success. Given the early list of suitors, it's a virtual certainty that Hawes will be able to find a school. That list includes Arizona, Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, Washington, and Duke.

As with Brockman, the pressure to stay home will certainly be there as Hawes looks to move towards a decision next summer.

"I know my dad wouldn't mind if I went to Washington, but he's not going to pressure me. And I'm sure Jon and Martell would like me to come play with them as well, but I've got to make the best decision for me."

Unlike Brockman, the junior center says the idea of playing on the east coast could hold some real, genuine appeal for him.

"I've followed both Duke and UNC for a while now. I know about their traditions and I could see myself playing for them, I am looking forward to learning more about them. College is a part of life when you can get out and see a lot. Maybe playing on the east coast could be a new phase for me."

Considered one of the more polished big man prospects in the country, Hawes admits he needs to add weight and strength to his 215 pound frame. He'd also like to add the little quirks and skills that would allow him to become a more complete player.

"I like to score inside, but I can also step out and hit a perimeter jumper. I want to continue refining and expanding my game."

Hawes is currently ranked as the No. 2 center and No. 9 overall prospect in the class of 2006 by Scout.com's Dave Telep.


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