Checking in with Josh McRoberts

<I>Inside Carolina</I>'s Clint Jackson provides an update on Josh McRoberts, one of the top forwards in the Class of 2005 who is already on the radars of some of the top basketball programs in the country.

The last time IC spoke with Carmel (Ind.) PF Josh McRoberts, he was going through a rough portion of his high school basketball season. But McRoberts, a 6-9 215 skilled sophomore led his team on a march of victories and ended the season with a respectable 14-8 record after a very dismal 2-7 start.

"We had a rough start, but things came around and we finished strong," he said. The high-major target ended the season averaging nearly 17 points, 10 boards, three blocks and four assists per game. Not too bad for a mere 10th grader.

And despite being only a 10th grader, the midwest big man is already a confirmed target of many of the nation's finest programs.

One of the schools that was very interested in McRoberts was the North Carolina Tar Heels, under former coach Matt Doherty. But there's a new sheriff in town in Chapel Hill and his name is Roy Williams.

"I think (UNC) is a great place for him to be," said McRoberts of Williams' new position in Chapel Hill. "I'm sure that he's excited about it and I think he'll do a great job. I really haven't talked to him yet or anyone on his staff for that matter so it's kind of hard for me to say too much just yet about him."

But McRoberts made it crystal clear that he still had an interest in the Carolina program, despite the coaching change.

"I'm definitely still interested in being recruited by UNC and Coach Williams," he said.

The sophomore prep star will play this summer for the Indiana Red, which is a new name for the Nike sponsored squad formerly called Hoosier Hoops. He plans to be in action for several AAU tournaments including the Memorial Day Classic, which is played in Bloomington over the holiday weekend. He also has been invited to participate in the Nike Camp in Indianapolis and is likely to make it down to North Augusta, S.C for the Peach Jam later this summer as well.

In the offseason, McRoberts plans to work on his strength as well as certain skills to his game.

"I've been lifting weights and working out with my high school team," he noted. "And I could always work on my shooting."

Scouts in the midwest and Indiana that have seen a good amount of McRoberts note that his scoring, passing and shotblocking are most impressive. Others talk about his instincts on the court being very mature for a 16 year old. McRoberts thinks that his inside scoring moves and his ability to pass are his best assets right now.

Many elite college programs in the midwest have already been showing a lot of interest in recruiting him and he's started to formulate a list of potential destinations.

Among the contenders include Notre Dame, Purdue, Iowa, Indiana, Xavier, Michigan State, Michigan, Arizona, Kansas and UNC. McRoberts noted that his list may be lacking some other programs in the mix as well.

"My mom and dad always notice when I forget to mention some schools," he laughed, "then they'll say something and I'll remember."

We asked him about what mattered the most when it comes time to pull the trigger on his commitment:

"The coaching staff is going to be a big thing for me, " he said. "Of course the campus, the people at the school, and my teammates will be a factor as well. I'm still not sure if location is going to be a big thing just yet."

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