Kingwood Classic Roundup

The games are over in Houston and the North Carolina coaches were hard at work. IC's Jeff Goodman reports on Brian Johnson, Alexander Kaun and other top players.

HOUSTON -- Steve Robinson was a busy guy in a 15-hour stretch on Saturday.

The North Carolina assistant was evaluating some of the former regime's targets as well as taking a look at a couple of new ones at the Kingwood Classic in Houston, Texas.

One player that received the most attention from Robinson and head man Roy Williams was D.C. Blue Devils forward Brian Johnson.

The 6-8 Bishop O'Connell (Va.) junior had an up and down tournament, but he showed plenty of aggressiveness and put up consistent numbers on perhaps the most loaded summer team on the circuit. He got plenty of points from dunks and follows and also controlled the boards, along with teammate James Gist.

Johnson was at his best on the defensive end of the court, but he still managed to average 13 points per game over the tournament.

"I'm just going out there and having fun," Johnson said. "I didn't see him (Williams) until the end of the game. I knew they were coming to watch me play."

Johnson was slated to take a visit to Carolina last week, but it never materialized. As long as the Tar Heels staff liked what they saw, a commitment could be forthcoming this summer.

"They're the leader," Johnson said. "But Duke and Maryland are close. It's going to be hard with those three schools. I'm going to visit all three of them before I make a decision."

Ra'Sean Dickey, another player who professed plenty of love for Carolina Blue, got a look or two from Robinson – as did LaMarcus Aldridge.

But the most intriguing player that Robinson and Williams took a close look at was Florida Air Academy (Fla.) 6-11, 245-pound Siberian Alexander Kaun, who played like a future pro early in the tournament before appearing to wear down as the games went on.

Robinson was watching as Kaun ran the court with ease and had more than a half-dozen emphatic dunks and 22 points against an Illinois Wolves team that features a pair of high-major frontcourt players in Ollie Bailey and Shaun Pruitt.

Kaun has been in the United States for two years and is a 4.0 student who has already qualified. He's already being pursued by Louisville, Florida, Duke, UConn and other big-time schools so it won't be easy for the Tar Heels to get in the mix.

NOTES

* Steve Robinson and Williams were seen evaluating Amityville High (N.Y.) guard A.J. Price, whose former high school teammate, Jason Fraser, spurned Carolina in favor of Villanova.

* Houston Select's Joseph Jones, a big man who Williams liked from his time at Kansas, scored 11 points but missed Saturday night's action to attend the prom.

* David Burgess, the younger brother of former Duke player Chris Burgess, is a rugged 6-11 big man from California who fielded offers from Louisville and UCLA. He said the school he'd love to get involved is UNC.

* Jason Rich has unmatched leadership skills and plays much bigger than the 6-4 he's listed at. Look for the Florida native to pick from Florida, UConn and Cincinnati.

* The best shooter in the tournament and one of the top gunners in the country is Rice (N.Y.) 6-2 guard Russell Robinson. Two more inches and he'd become one of the hottest commodities around.

* Glen "Big Baby" Davis, a 6-8, 315-pound forward from Louisiana Sports Academy, is also a dominant football player being recruited by high-majors. However, his true passion is basketball and the charismatic Davis said UNC and Kansas are two schools he'd like to step up their interest. Davis has soft hands, passes out of the double-team and uses his body extremely well. His agility is what's so amazing.

* Duke-bound guard DeMarcus Nelson sat out the final game with a hip injury suffered when he took an elbow to the hip.

* Players who saw their stock rise: Darrell Wright, Jason Rich, James Gist.

* Andrew Toney's son, Channing, can flat-out scorer just like his father. He's a 6-4 guard with the Georgia Stars.


Inside Carolina Top Stories