Just because he doesn't necessarily pass the initial look test doesn't mean that Bothell (WA) High junior Micah Downs can't play. In fact, the 6-7 wing prospect from the Seattle suburbs has been attracting plenty of long looks from some of college basketball's biggest names.
Included among the long list of schools showing significant early interest in Downs are Kansas, UConn, UCLA, Washington, Gonzaga, Michigan State, and Oregon just to name a few. That interest has become more evident during March when schools are allowed one phone call to potential prospects.
"Kansas just called yesterday, UCLA has called, Michigan State called and I've called a lot of schools on my own," said Downs. "They ask me how I am doing and tell me what is going on. I ask them about if I go to their program, how would I be used and if I would be a role player or a contributor?"
According to Downs, he gets the feeling that most programs look at him as a contributor and if you have seen him play it is easy to understand why.
He demonstrates a developed ability to pass, shoot and handle the ball from the wing and Downs also plays with a little bit of a nasty streak despite his slender 175 pound build. He rebounds well, and uses his live body and long frame to score and defend much better in the post than most observers expect.
With his school season over, Downs is gearing up for a big spring and summer on the club circuit. He'll be hitting Nike camp in July and his summer team, Friends of Hoop, which features other big name 2005 Seattle area talents like Martell Webster, Mitch Johnson and Jon Brockman, will also make several stops along the Nike circuit beginning in April.
He's expecting more attention from Kansas along the way.
"Kansas (coach Dooley) was out the last time we played Roosevelt in January. Coach Self is also coming out next month to watch me here in Seattle."
His recruitment is still in the early stages and he hasn't received any concrete scholarship offers, but Downs isn't in any hurry. He'd like to get his list to a more manageable size after the early spring events before taking visits, although he does concede that Kansas may have an early edge on its competitors.
"I've lived a lot of places and my dad has always liked Kansas. When you are little, you always want to like what your dad likes so I started liking them," said Downs. "Also, they always seem to have good players like Hinrich and they've produced lots of guys for the League over the years."