Coach: Kelly an Emerging Prospect

Raleigh (NC) Ravenscroft standout Ryan Kelly has been a busy man over the past couple of months.

Since the end of July, Ryan Kelly has taken seven unofficial visits. The 6-foot-9, 195-pound rising junior took trips to North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Davidson, William & Mary, Richmond and North Carolina State.

"I think that most of the schools are pretty much on an even tier," Kelly told Scout.com's Evan Daniels. "I'm just taking this opportunity to go visit some schools and not make decisions on who I like more at this point, but use it as an opportunity to narrow it down a little bit."

Kelly is one of the most promising big men in the region, and he has seen his stock rise following a strong summer touring the AAU circuit with D-One Sports.

He currently holds scholarship offers from N.C. State, Virginia, Virginia tech, Davidson, Richmond, William & Mary and UNC Charlotte. He is receiving heavy interest from Michigan, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Kentucky, and Indiana among others. In fact, he made the short drive over to Chapel Hill this past weekend for an unofficial visit.

"I played with the players on Friday afternoon because they weren't playing on Saturday," Kelly told Daniels. "Then I came back on Saturday and got to look through all of the facilities, meet with Coach Williams and watch the football game.

"Coach Williams has come by to see me play, as well as Coach Haase. At this point they just want to be able to see me with my high school team and get a chance to see me play more."

Former D-One Sports assistant coach Antone Williams is not surprised by the attention that Kelly has been receiving. He speaks highly of the 2009 frontcourt prospect.

"Of all the kids we have and have worked with, I think Ryan might be the most polished guy as far as overall skillset and knowledge of the game," said coach Williams. "He's come a long way ever since he started playing with us. If nothing else, he's got a lot tougher and more aggressive.

"Ryan has even said that the workouts we've put him through have made him mature as a player. He's really skilled, and over the last couple of years he's really turned it up as far as his aggressiveness."

Kelly's emergence as a high-major target has come about because of his toughness in the post, ability to score from the perimeter, and the fact that he keeps growing. He has grown two inches this year and as his skillset evolves colleges have taken notice. At Dave Telep's Carolina Challenge, Kelly checked in at 6-foot-7 and he was recently measured at 6-foot-9. He's just 200 pounds but is still growing into his frame.

"Given his skillset, I knew that once some coaches were in the same gym with him and able to get a good look at Ryan, they would like him," said coach Williams. "The thing about Ryan is he just turned 16 in June. He still has a lot of maturing to do physically.

"Once he gains the strength, there won't be too many big men that I see college coaches taking over him. He's fundamental, he has athleticism, he can shoot the three, and he's not afraid to post up. He's a tough kid... when the strength comes, look out."

With offers still coming his way and high-major programs evaluating, Kelly appears to be honoring the process and waiting until later to make a decision.

"I know some of the Midwest schools have been in on him, but he has a lot of time before he has to make a decision," said coach Williams. "He has great parents and they are going to be there with him as he makes this decision. I think what is going to be the overall factor with Ryan is a place where he feels comfortable at. He's looking for a place he is needed, and he's looking at academics."


Pack Pride Top Stories