When you talk about sophomores with big-time potential, Kevin Durant has to be in the discussion.
``I just want to prove to all the coaches and the scouts that I can be a top 10 player in my class," Durant said.
That may not be difficult. In fact, Durant is arguably already among the top dozen or so players in the Class of 2006.
The National Christian (Md.) 6-8, 190-pound forwards biggest problem right now is just a matter of maturing and gaining weight. However, what people have to realize is that he's only 15. He doesn't even turn 16 until Sept. 29.
There isn't much Durant isn't able to do, even with a lack of strength. He can knock down the 3-pointer with ease, is able to put the ball on the floor and take it to the basket strong – and also has a terrific feel for the game.
However, when he does pack on a few extra pounds, it will allow him to finish better around the basket – and hold his position in the post on both ends of the court.
Just two years ago, Durant was a 6-1, 160-pound freshman – then he grew six inches in less than a year, so he's still getting adjusted to his body and his new position.
``People are always calling me soft because I'm so skinny," said Durant, who is hoping to be a small forward in college. "It makes me stronger as a person and makes me work harder. I just try and go out there and play, though. I don't talk at all."
``When I used to play, guys would tell me that I'd never be any good," added Durant. "Now they don't say anything to me."
Durant's intelligence is clear while watching him on the court. He makes good decisions, gets his team involved and rarely forces bad shots. After averaging three points his freshman season, Durant became the go-to guy last season at National Christian, averaging 20.5 points and 10 boards per game.
Even though he's still a ways away from getting serious about his recruitment, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Maryland, Louisville, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Duke are some of the schools he's considering. Even though he'd ideally like to get away from home, he is still looking at the Terps, who have already offered him a scholarship. Maryland assistant Dave Dickerson and Georgia head coach Dennis Felton were both in the school last month to see Durant.
``The most important thing for me will be when I go for visits," Durant said. "I want to also see how they develop their wing players. I'd like to make my decision by the time my senior year starts."