Cauley Stands Tall

CHICAGO --- North Carolina has a long list of post players from the 2012 class that it plans on watching in July, none of which stand taller than Willie Cauley.

Before this spring, Cauley was mostly a regional recruit. But thanks to a strong spring, and a birth in the EYBL after his Spiece Mo-Kan squad won the EYBL Qualifier, Cauley's game and stature have grown over the past few months.

It also doesn't hurt that Cauley has a unique combination of size and athleticism. He was the biggest participant at the prestigious Amar'e Stoudemire Skills Academy this past week, measuring 7-1.25 in shoes with a 7-2 wingspan. And just as impressive, was how well he got up and down the floor for a player his size.

"(My game) hasn't changed much, I'm still fast and athletic, and (the growing) hasn't slowed me down at all so I'm thankful for that," Cauley said.

The Olathe (Kan.) Northwest standout is ranked No. 43 overall in the 2012 class by In a class deep with legitimate centers, Cauley currently rates as the No. 12 center in the class. Battling guys ahead of him in the rankings at the Skills Academy camp was an experience that Cauley will remember going into the July evaluation period.

"Camp was really good, I really didn't realize how good the competition is," Cauley said. "Being from Kansas City, you don't realize things like how many good kids are from somewhere like Georgia. It was a good experience to see the different kinds of competition in my grade level. I learned a lot."

So what did Cauley take from the event? Considered more of a standout on the defensive end at this point thanks to his considerable size and athleticism, the camp reaffirmed that he needs to improve other facets of his game.

"Strength is a big one. There are a lot of guys that are out here that are already developed muscle-wise. I'm not quite there yet," Cauley said. "Getting stronger, (getting) quicker, getting the ball up faster because you learn to deal with shot blockers. Those are the things I need to improve on."

The recruiting process is picking up quite a bit for Cauley, who already claims offers from Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma State, San Francisco, Iowa State, Nebraska, Kansas State, Iowa, Oklahoma, Florida and Miami.?

He also acknowledges the presence of a few schools in his recruitment that have yet to offer.

?"Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio State have all been in to watch workouts," Cauley said. "I talk to a Kentucky coach about once every two weeks. One of the (Carolina) assistants came out, and I've gotten mail from them as well."

That spring visit from UNC assistant Jerod Haase prefaced the evaluations to follow by the Tar Heel staff next month.

Still, Cauley is in the early stages of his recruitment as summer school comes first. July will be a big time for him to play in front of coaches and potentially earn more offers.

"I haven't made any (visits) yet. I'm still doing some online (summer) school, so I've been focused on taking care of that first before I go on any visits. I know I'm planning on seeing Alabama once I'm done taking care of school."

Willie Cauley Profile

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