Hawes Working On Trimming List

Spencer Hawes is packing his bags and heading to the McDonald's All-American game a year early. The big fella from Washington is taking a little family outing to South Bend but before he left Scout.com caught up with him to get his thoughts on the current situation.

Most guys wait until their senior year to see what the McDonald's All-American game is like. Spencer Hawes, a 6-foot-11 center out of Seattle Prep, is not like most guys. Sure, he'd love to be in San Diego next year as a participant (and he's got a great shot at the game) but curiosity and a chance to see what the Irish have to offer lured him to South Bend this week.

Call it kind of a break in the action before a busy spring for one of America's finest big men. Hawes, who is going to the game with his mother and father, is a basketball fan. After taking in the best college ball on the tube last weekend, he'll support friends Jon Brockman and Martell Webster on Wednesday on high school basketball's biggest stage.

"I'll go to the McDonald's game and take a little unofficial to Notre Dame while I'm there," Hawes said. "Once I get back and have spring break I'll trim my list before the coaches can start coming out to the schools."

Big prospects tend to have long lists and the near 7-footer has a list that is extra long – currently at 12 – right now. We'll try not to leave anybody out as we relay the who's who of college ball.

Programs that covet the pivot man are (in no particular order of course) Duke, North Carolina, Connecticut, North Carolina State, Texas, Kansas, Washington, Gonzaga, Arizona, UCLA, Stanford and Notre Dame. All have offered except for Stanford, UConn, Duke and Notre Dame.

In fact, UNC was the latest school to make their pitch to him. "I talked to them last Monday," Hawes said. "They're selling everything from player development to the future of the program and how they can help me grow as a person and player."

How will Hawes handle the schools that have yet to make him a scholarship offer? "There's some factors like with Stanford since I haven't turned in my application yet so they can't offer," Hawes said. "I'm confident with my play this summer I'll be able to earn offers [to the others]."

Hawes would like to take this gargantuan list of heavy hitters and file it down to a more manageable number. "Ideally it'll be at 5 but realistically it'll be 6- or 7," Hawes remarked. "There's so many aspects of schools that I can fit into and they're so many places that it's hard to choose without knowing more about them. There's so many opportunities and it's hard to turn them down."

In the end, only one program will win out. Some say Washington will be that place. They've got a few of his buddies in Friends of Hoop alums Brockman and Webster and a program headed in the right direction but Hawes says he's got to keep options open.

"That's something I hear pretty often," Hawes said of the Washington talk. "There is a big draw with family and tradition. But when it comes down to it I'm going to the place that'll prepare me best in the basketball and for a future in basketball. I'm trying to downplay it and look at what fits me best."

Hawes is doing his advanced scouting if you will on the programs he's interested in. He doesn't need to walk onto campus and start as a freshman but he wants to have a role early. He'll look at a coach's history with big men and keep a keen eye on player development.

"I look at the coach and what they've done with big guys in the past. I try to see what they're player development and strength and conditioning is like. It's kind of hard to see but you have to look at what they're doing to develop their guys."

In the meantime, Hawes is headed to South Bend to support his guys. "I just thought [going to the game] is a great opportunity to see my teammates and friends. I'm on spring break and I'm not missing any classes and hopefully I'll be in it next year.

"It's a good chance to see Notre Dame as well."

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