2006 Focus: William Graves

Greensboro Dudley (N.C.) sophomore William Graves IV has been busy lately. <P>

Greensboro Dudley (N.C.) sophomore William Graves IV has been busy lately.

The 6-6, 220-pound forward has made his second consecutive appearance at North Carolina's Midnight Madness – and has also taken unofficial visits to Maryland and Clemson. A trip to Georgetown is also in the planning stages.

A year ago at this time, his clear-cut leader was the Tar Heels – primarily because of his affection for the program growing up. In fact, he and his father attended the Tar Heels victory over Illinois on Tuesday night. However, much has changed now that other big-time schools have begun to show interest.

"Now that I'm being recruited by other schools, I'm wide open and everyone's the same," Graves said. "I'm just going to wait and see what happens. Now that I'm getting more looks, it's a hard decision and I've got to look at other options."

Graves said that the Wolfpack have been the most active and aggressive school in terms of recruiting, but he's having a hard time figuring out which schools are actively pursuing him and which are just showing preliminary interest.

"I'm not sure if Duke is really recruiting me or not, but they said I can come to a game anytime I want," Graves added.

Graves' most recent trip was to Maryland a few weeks back for the Terps homecoming football game against North Carolina. He also attended a recent Duke game.

"It was good. I like the campus," Graves said of his trip to College Park. "I watched a practice and they play really hard. The coach (Gary Williams) is real strict on the court, but off of it he's one of the nicest guys I've ever met."

Graves, 15, who also mentioned Georgia Tech as showing some interest, has averaged 16.5 points in Dudley's first four games – all victories. Last season he spent most of his time at the small forward spot, but this year he's playing power forward the majority of the time.

"I'm not going to complain," said the versatile Graves. "I'll do whatever the coach tells me to do. I don't mind playing the four, but I'd prefer to play the two or the three."

While his father said he'd like to see his son develop more of a killer instinct, the younger Graves, who has a 3.25 GPA, wants to improve his ballhandling skills enough so he can play some point guard.

Graves and his teammates will head to Kentucky this weekend to play in the Marshall County Hoop Fest, where they will face defending state champion Mason County.

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