TOC: Greg Paulus Spotlight

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Rising junior point guard Greg Paulus cannot yet make official visits to college campuses, but he may have enough information to make a school choice before that time comes.

The NCAA doesn't allow high school athletes to make official visits -- those paid by the school -- until the summer of their junior year, but Greg Paulus will have made visits to all five finalists for his services after his visit to UNC on Memorial Day Monday. He plans to visit the Chapel Hill campus following his Syracuse/Rochester AAU team's participation in the Tournament of Champions basketball tournament currently taking place in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.

He recently wrapped up a visit to Duke, where he was able to spend time getting to know the coaches on the staff, other than Steve Wojciechowski, who he has known since the beginning of the recruiting process.

"I've had a relationship with Coach Wojo," Paulus explained, "but we haven't had a chance to visit the university. Another reason we went there is because my mom hasn't seen it. My dad and I went up earlier this year, and my mom wanted to see it. We got a chance to meet Coach K. We met him last time, but this time it was a little more personable."

The other three finalists for his services are Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Xavier, according to Paulus, but his father says that Georgetown -- where an older brother played both basketball and football -- and Florida are also under consideration, and every school has made a scholarship offer.

His father, Dave Paulus, who is also the head coach of his Syracuse/Rochester AAU team, has set up the visit with UNC head coach Roy Williams.

"My dad is going to have the itinerary," Paulus said. "He's talked to Coach Williams a couple times. I'm sure that will be scheduled over the next couple days. If we [don't] advance very far, we'll probably move it up a little bit to Sunday night and Monday."

Paulus also possesses quarterback skills on the football field, but basketball takes priority.

"Basketball is my first love," Paulus said. "I want to be a point guard, and if football is going to mess with that -- me being a point guard -- then I'm going to drop that. If that won't affect it, you never know. Anything is possible."

According to the senior Paulus, Greg is looking for three things in a college destination: good academics, a good relationship with the people around him, and a good fit. If he finds those things, a decision could come before the start of his junior season.

"He wants to be comfortable before he commits," the elder Paulus said, "and I think he will commit early. He has said, 'When I feel really comfortable with the process and find what I'm looking for -- something that feels like home to me -- [I'll make a choice]…

"Once that process has been gone through, he will make a decision, but I realistically think he will wait no later than the end of the summer to make a decision where he is going to go to school."

His Syracuse/Rochester team came away with a double-digit win in the first game of pool play in the Gibbons T.O.C., but he struggled to score only seven points in the first half, and his team held a precarious one-point lead at the intermission.

"The first half was awful," Paulus said. "I was very disappointed -- I couldn't finish under the basket. I turned the ball over a couple of times."

But the second half was a different story. He appeared more in-control and a little more assertive. He opened with a 3-pointer on the way to game totals of 23 points, six assists, five rebounds, and six steals, in spite of sitting out for a while due to an elbow injury.

"In the second half, the five-minute spurt before I got hurt was my kind of ball," Paulus said. "That's the way our team is capable of playing. I think we went on a 10- or 15-0 run. I had a couple of nice passes, went to the basket, and shot the ball. I got everyone involved. When I'm doing that and I'm in that kind of rhythm, we are going to go on spurts."

On a rebound attempt, Paulus was knocked off balance, and he fell to the floor with much of his weight on his elbow. The trainer who came to his aid wrapped a bag of ice on his elbow, but it wouldn't stay on very long. A short while later, Paulus ripped it off, visibly anxious to get back into the game.

"She didn't want me to [go back in], but I can't sit and watch," he explained with a twinkle in his eye and a grin on his face. "I've got to be out there playing."

And there are at least five college coaches who hope, in two years, Greg Paulus will be playing for him.


NOTES:
  • Paulus's July travel plans include the Nike Camp, a trip to Las Vegas, Nationals in Florida, and the Three Stripes.
  • Currently he views the Big East as a conference where his family could get to see him play more than if he played in the ACC.
  • Paulus has heard comparisons of himself to John Stockton, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, and Kirk Hinrich.
  • Description of himself as a basketball player: "Winner. I love to compete. I love to win. I love the style of ball that's up-tempo. I love getting everyone involved and taking over the game in the fourth quarter -- just making everyone around me better."

Inside Carolina Top Stories