Top Post Target

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. --- There's no doubt Diamond Stone is a top North Carolina post target in the class of 2015.

Aside from being the only 2015 big man with a Tar Heel scholarship offer, Stone has received the most attention from head coach Roy Williams.

Last week, Williams and assistants Steve Robinson and Hubert Davis flew to Milwaukee to meet with Stone and his father.

All three coaches visiting Stone together is a serious sign of UNC's interest in the 6-foot-10, 254-pound center from Milwaukee (Wis.) Dominican.

"He told me to keep working and everything will be there for you," explained Stone. "I think I'm going to visit there next summer. I'm also going to try and make it to a game. A lot of schools have asked me to go to their Midnight Madness event, so I just have to decide where I'm going to go."

During their conversation, Williams also shared his how he thinks Stone would fit in at Carolina.

"He was saying I have a great low (post) presence," Stone said. "He said to establish yourself on the block, score and then let the other things come. Basically he said to dominate first, then I could show all my moves, my left and right hand and everything."

Dominating at the 2013 USA Basketball Mini-Camp isn't an easy task. The 46-man roster includes the top two post players in the class of 2014 (Jhalil Okafor and Myles Turner) and four of the top post players in the class of 2015 (Stone, Ivan Rabb, Thomas Bryant and Chase Jeter).

Position drills for the post players caught the eye of nearly every parent and scout on Saturday. Stone said he embraces the challenge of playing against the country's best.

"It's a great feeling actually, because I know all the guys and we have that bond and that chemistry, we just like to compete against each other and get each other better," said Stone. "Jahlil (Okafor) told me he was going to put it on me, unfortunately he got injured. He was a good battle teammate. He pushed me, he fronted me – he's a strong guy."

Besides providing an opportunity to represent USA Basketball in future international competitions, the mini-camp also gives players another chance to improve.

"I've been learning new moves," Stone said. "Coach Herm (Herman Herried of Lake Clifton HS ) is a good coach and I'm learning a lot from him. I'm just trying to compete. I'm just trying to experience greatness."

Stone, who said he models his game after former Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins, has offers from Arizona, UConn, Georgetown, Indiana, Marquette, UCLA, Wisconsin and UCLA. Being a coveted recruit hasn't changed Stone's motivation to be the best player in the class.

"It's nice to have all of these offers," he said. "You just have to be humble about the whole situation. You have to keep working and remember where you started. In fourth grade people didn't think I'd be where I'm at today. I always think about that and keep it in my mind."

A decision for Stone likely won't come until his senior season. By March, he hopes to have nailed down the final criteria that will help him in his decision.

While he didn't reveal a list of favorites, it sounds like Stone and Carolina's mutual interest will keep the Tar Heels in the running for the duration of the recruitment.

"UNC is everybody's dream school," he said. "If you name the five best colleges right now, North Carolina is going to be in that five. They're a nice school. I haven't made my decision because I have a lot of other schools looking at me.. But Carolina is a good school, it's a nice school."

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