The Findlay Prep Pilots are one of the best teams in high school basketball this year. One of their top producing players is class of 2012 forward Winston Shepard. With production and athleticism to spare, Shepard has attracted a good amount of college attention.
Findlay Prep suffered their first loss of the season this past weekend, but overall Shepard says he can't complain about how his season is going.
"It is going great," said Shepard of his year. "I am scoring well, rebounding well, and being a team player. It is going real nice."
Things are also going well for Shepard on the recruiting trail. He basically has his pick of schools across the country. Shepard says he has received offers from Louisville, Texas, Memphis, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, UNLV, UCLA, Arizona, and Arizona State.
While having those options is obviously a good thing, Shepard knows that getting all of those early offers puts added pressure on him.
"It is great, but it comes with a price," said Shepard. "I have to make sure I stay on top of my game at all times and continue to improve."
While Shepard has a whole host of offers, he does admit that five schools stand out on his list.
"My top five are Texas, Kansas, Louisville, Memphis, and Oklahoma," listed Shepard.
At one point in time Shepard said that the Texas Longhorns were his favorite school, but now he is backing off that statement a little bit.
"I love Texas to death," said Shepard. "I am from Houston and both of my parents played basketball at Texas. I love Coach (Russell) Springmann and they are in my top five, but not a clear cut leader."
According to Shepard there is a specific reason why those five schools standout on his list, and it has to do with a history of success at his position.
"Those schools have a good style of play for me," explained Shepard. "They all let their wings do work. They all produce small forwards who go to the league, and that is the biggest factor in my decision. I want to go to a place that has done a good job of sending players into the NBA from my position."
While Shepard is focused on being a wing who makes it to the highest level of basketball, he also realizes that he has work to do to make the transition from combo forward to small forward.
"I think I have work ahead of me," said Shepard. "I am making progress, but I recognize that I have work ahead of me."