2005: True Centers

A final look at the 2005 potential targets. Player evaluations on four centers that Kansas has been following.

Eric Boateng, 6-10 C, Middletown (DE) St. Andrews

It took little time for Boateng to explode onto the national scene after moving to the states from England. Now he is generally regarded as one of the elite low post players in the country and not just a tall kid with a peculiar accent. For good reason too - he is a classic low post player with long arms, good touch and developing footwork.

Boateng is a top 15 caliber player provided that he fully recovers from a broken foot that has sidelined him. Before his injury, heavyweights like Kansas, Duke, UNC, UCLA, Villanova, Wake Forest and North Carolina State. Expect the Kansas staff to follow his recovery with keen interest.

Luke Zeller, 6-10 C, Washington (IN) High

Zeller is a skilled big man who reminds of former KU great Raef Lafrentz. He loves to step out and shoot 17 foot jump shots and scores on an array of low post moves. He'll improve his rebounding as he gets stronger, but despite his deficiencies in the nastiness category he rates as a top 20 player nationally.

It isn't much of a secret that he loved Kansas early and that the Jayhawks reciprocated the love early and often under both Roy Williams and Bill Self. Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri,UNC and others are all in the thick of the race for a kid who has done a remarkable job of keeping his options open.

Travis Nelson, 6-9 C/BF, Marion (IA) Linn-Mar

An emerging player from the state of Iowa, Nelson is another thin but intriguing big man. He has good feet, runs the court very well and is blessed with a fundamentally sound scoring package. He can step out to medium range and make jump shots and positions himself well for rebounds. However, at only 205 pounds he must add strength and needs to improve upon his lateral quickness.

Even though he plays for a small Iowa school, he has attracted plenty of legitimate high major interest. He has already taken and unofficial visit to Kansas and stays in contact with the staff. He has also visited Iowa on numerous occasions and is hearing from more schools like UConn, Iowa State, Creighton, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and others. He'll get his chance to shine at Nike camp next summer and could emerge as a top 100 or better prospect.

Brett Hoerner, 6-10 C, Fullerton (CA) High

Hoerner hasn't had the chance to perform in front of many national scouts yet, but once he gets the chance he should cement his status as a high major big man. He's got great length, but his frame is slender and must add strength. Hoerner prefers to step out and hit 10-15 foot jumpers, and he's a very crafty scorer who is surprising athlete and dunker when the mood strikes him near the basket.

If he can become more aggressive and continue to get stronger he could develop as a top 50 prospect. He's on the KU radar to some extent but is much more likely to stay out west where he is a target for schools like UCLA, Oregon, Arizona State, Washington and others.


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