Sims Taking His Time

TSR recently chatted with Mt. St. Joe's (Md.) coach Pat Clatchey about junior big man Henry Sims, one of the Terps' top hoops targets for '08.

Clatchey said that Sims has been far more focused on working o his game and his frame -- he's at 6-foot-10, 215 pounds right now -- than recruiting. Because a player of Sims' stature is in such high demand, he sees no need to rush in.

Sims, ranked 29th in the Class of 2008, maintains the same list as he's had for a while -- Maryland, Georgetown, Virginia, Clemson and Bsoton College are the primary suitors, while Kansas, Syracuse and Florida have shown interest as well.

"I don't foresee him making any commitment in the near future," Clatchey said.

The Terps, of course, have gained a verbal commitment from Mt. St. Joe's senior Dino Gregory, Sims' frontcourt mate. During Sims' two years at the school, the team has a 69-5 mark. Clatchey also said that Sims, who doesn't turn 17 until March, likely has a few inches of growth left in him.

What the Terps are envisioning, no doubt, is landing themselves a seven-footer with excellent ball skills. Sims is not a very physical player at this point, nor is he a freakish athlete, but he's highly skilled for his size-age combo.

"He's 6-10 and he can run, can catch and he's got touch," Clatchey said. "He's made a lot of strides [since his freshman year] but he's really made a lot of strides [also] from last year to this year."

Says recruiting analyst Dave Telep: "You judge big men like Henry Sims along a continuum. That means the progression, given his enormous physical traits and tools, should be steady. For my money, Sims has gradually gotten better in different aspects of his game. Now we are at the stage where the perfect storm should come together and the hope is that exerts himself and becomes a dominant force."

It's difficult to say at this point where Sims is most likely to end up, but when we spoke to him earlier this fall, he told us: "I like [Maryland]. It's close to home, so my family can come watch the games without spending a lot of money. I watched Maryland when I was younger. I like the way they play."

He also said he's being recruited by Gregory and fellow Baltimore standout Braxton Dupree of Calvert Hall, another Maryland commit.

"All three of us are real good friends," he said. "They tell me, 'There's no reason for you to go anywhere but Maryland."

We'll have more on Sims when basketball season starts. It will be a crucial season for Sims in terms of gauging whether he emerges as a top-flight national big man or sits in the next level down -- a high-quality prospect, but not an All-American level big man.

"Given his length, ability to block shots and run the floor combined with more confidence inside, the ingredients are there for one of the top players in the nation at his position," Telep said. "It’s really up to him to take the next step from prospect to player at this stage."

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