First eval period big for Graham

Dillon Graham is Exhibit A for what a strong NCAA evaluation period can do for a prospect. After a string of solid performances at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Orlando has earned interest and offers from some big-time college programs - including the Kansas Jayhawks.

As the Florida Rams were putting the finishing touches on their July 9 victory over Kansas Pray and Play in the Final Four of the Adidas Invitational, the cell phone of Rams director Matt Ramker lit up.

It was the University of Kansas, and they wanted to let him know they were extending a scholarship offer to one of his players. Ramker waved the unsuspecting athlete over, and filled him in.

At that point, it's probably fair to say Dillon Graham was a little surprised.

"I was like, 'Stop joking, stop joking,'" the soft-spoken, 6-foot-4 shooting guard said. "He goes 'They just offered. I'm on the phone with them right now.'"

That's sort of the way the recent NCAA evaluation period went for Graham who, due in large part to his play at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, has gone from a virtual unknown talent to one on the radar of some of the biggest programs in the country.

In addition to the Jayhawks, the likes of Louisville, Maryland and Florida State are reported to have offered, as well as a handful of others, and interest in him continues to grow.

It's all been a lot to take in for the small-school star from Orlanda, about whom the average recruitnik probably knows next to nothing right now. But after such a strong early July and with another evaluation period on the horizon, he is unlikely to remain a hidden gem for much longer.

"I'm still adjusting to it," said Graham, who averaged more than 15 points per game and shot better than 40-percent from beyond the arc for The First Academy as a junior last season. "It's definitely a dream come true for a kid like me. I've always wanted to talk to these coaches and especially be offered and recruited by them."

As for the Jayhawks, he said his parents are already scouting dates for a potential visit to the Lawrence, Kan. campus.

Though he hasn't spoken with Head Coach Bill Self directly yet, he did get the chance to converse with assistant coach Joe Dooley.

"I talked to Coach Dooley," Graham said. "He was just saying how he and Coach Self really loved my game and loved the way I play. They just pretty much complimented me on my whole game, and said they're really interested in me."


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