Chat with Al Horford's Coach

Now that the word has come down on the NCAA sanctions we can start to re-focus on recruiting targets. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Grand Ledge Head Coach Tony Sweet about his star player, rising Jr. PF Al Horford.

It became even more apparent that Al Horford was a serious target when UM assistant basketball coach Charles Ramsey was in attendance (as were other coaches including Tom Izzo) at one of his late season games vs. Lansing Everett on March 3, 2003. Al had 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists on the way to a 51-44 victory.

Al is the son of Tito Horford, a former NBA player that was drafted in the second round of the 1988 NBA draft out of Miami. He left the Hurricanes following his sophomore campaign. Though he's already 6'8" inches now, many expect Al to grow even more since his dad is a seven footer. Coach Sweet made mention of that in our interview the other night.

Al has visited Michigan unofficially already and is looking to visit officially in the late summer/early fall.

Describe Al's game for us.

He's 6'8" and about 220lbs. He plays primarily in the post with his back to the basket. He has extremely long arms…about an 86" wing span. That's equivalent to the average power forward in the NBA. He has really good post moves and is a double digit rebounder. He averaged a little over 18 points and 11 rebounds. Plus he had just under 4 blocks per game as well. He's very good about altering shots. He's just a great defender.

What area of his game does he need to improve upon the most?

Probably his outside jumpshot. He's working on that this summer really heavily. He's really working on his face-up game.

What position do you project him at in college?

They're talking about the 4, however, he's only 16…and his dad is 7' tall. He'll be 17 on June 3 I believe. He's a very young junior, so he's still growing. I have a feeling that he's going to be 6'10"-6'11" by the time the season rolls around next year.

Can you list his offers for me?

He's been offered full rides by Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan State, Rutgers, Florida State, Valparaiso, Xavier, Central Michigan and Toledo.

Just about all of the Big Ten schools are interested. Michigan wants him to come down, but they haven't officially offered him. That's just because he hasn't had the chance to go down there and meet with Coach Amaker yet.

What do you think will be the most important factors in his decision?

Well, he's looking at a place where he can go and get some playing time as a freshman. There are a lot of schools that have said that their graduating a lot of their front court players or that they are juniors and seniors, so he's going to have an opportunity at few of the schools that are recruiting him to step right in and play. I know that's something that's important.

He also wants to go to a school that's good academically. He's a 3.5 student and just a really smart kid.

Check back for more from Al himself tomorrow.

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