'07 Focus: Mike Holmes

After missing the first five games of his junior season, Mike Holmes is settling in and coming on strong.

Mike Holmes had to sit and watch Lee Central's (S.C.) first five games due to academics, but the 6-foot-7, 215-pound junior hasn't wasted any time since returning to the lineup. Holmes is averaging 19 points per game and the team is 8-2 since he was reinstated.

``I felt bad sitting out," Holmes said. I just didn't work hard in the classroom, but my grades are much better right now."

Holmes is a physical, aggressive frontcourt guy who emerged this past summer – at the Nike Camp and also the Peach Jam, where he put up 22 and 15 against the Illinois Warriors and had 21 and 9 against the New Jersey All-Stars before an injury forced him to sit and watch the South Carolina Ravens final two games in Augusta.

``I think I played well and opened some eyes," he added.

Holmes' biggest asset is his strength in the paint and ability to rebound, but he can also step out and make shots from mid-range.

Holmes will need to improve his ballhandling skills and his ability to defend on the perimeter.

Holmes said that South Carolina is the most aggressive school in pursuit, but he added that North Carolina, N.C. State, Florida and Wake Forest are also in the mix. Holmes' high school coach, Jabari Deas, added Georgia and Tennessee to that list.

``Right now I'm pretty open," Holmes said.

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