National Programs Enter the Race for McCauley

The 6-8, 220-pound junior from Herminie, Pennsylvania, <b>Ben McCauley</b>, has always been considered a high-major prospect, but now he's starting to get attention from high-majors across the country, including schools like North Carolina, Stanford, Maryland and UCLA...

Ben McCauley, 6-8, 220, Herminie (Penn.) Yough, is an emerging high-major prospects that many national programs are just beginning to notice.

McCauley has developed skills for a frontcourt player, able to step out and hit a jumper and score around the basket. He's also gotten bigger, growing an inch in the last year and putting on 15 pounds, giving him the bulk to play underneath and bang. He averaged 26 points and 17 rebounds a game as a junior.

He received three early offers going into his junior season – from North Carolina State. Now, finishing his junior season, he said he's collected offers from Villanova, Xavier, Cincinnati and Duquesne.

But there have also been some other national programs showing interest, including North Carolina, Maryland.

"More schools have definitely started to show interest," McCauley said. "Many of them say they want to see me in the spring."

As of right now, McCauley said his top five, in no particular order, are Pittsburgh, NC State, North Carolina, Maryland and Xavier.

"I grew up a Maryland fan," he said. "Pittsburgh and NC State have been on me for a while. I just took an unofficial visit to North Carolina and they said they were interested. We'll see who really recruits me after this spring and summer."

McCauley has already been pretty busy visiting campuses unofficially. "I've been to Xavier, Maryland, Penn State, NC State, North Carolina, Cincinnati and Pitt," he said. "I really wanted to see as many as I could on my own."

So far he doesn't have any official visits arranged, but some coaches have made arrangements to visit him in April for the "in-school" visit. "Villanova, Ohio State, Cincinnati and UCLA have said they're coming out to see me in April."

McCauley listed some of the factors that would be big in determining which college he'd choose. "Academics come first. Then it'd be the environment, that it's the type of college I can see myself in, even after graduation. I want to go to a place where I feel comfortable, even after I graduate. Early playing time isn't that big of a factor. I'd like to be able to go into a program and be able to play and contribute to winning. If a senior has the spot, that's understandable. But if the spot's open, I just want a shot, to work as hard as I can to try to win it. Then there's weather. And in a way, that is a factor. I joke around a lot, saying I want to go somewhere warm, and I guess I do. But as long as it's the right place for me."

McCauley said that if he felt the best situation for him was to go away for school, it wouldn't be a problem. "In a way, my parents probably want me to stay close to home. But they'll support me if I decide to go away. For me, I just want to find the best place, the place I feel comfortable."

McCauley doesn't believe he'll make a decision anytime soon. "No, this is all just really starting for me. I just want to get it done before I start my senior season. I don't think I'd do it early. I want to have as good of an AAU season as I can and see what happens."

He said he maintains a 3.4 GPA and just took the SAT for the first time.

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