Livingston to visit the Hill

Try to track down Shaun Livingston and you'll see just how hectic the life of the No. 1 high school point guard in the country can be.

But the frenetic schedule came to a screeching halt Thursday night - in the form of a fender bender.

"I hardly felt it," Livingston reassured of the minor car accident. "Nothing serious."

Last week he was in Virginia visiting a girlfriend ... then it was back home logging time in the weight room ... later this week he's off to Chicago to work out with NBA players and Michael Jordan's trainer.

And the first weekend in September, he's visiting North Carolina.

"I've talked with Roy Williams and I'm going to come down to Chapel Hill on the weekend of Sept. 5th and 6th for my official visit to North Carolina," he said.

Livingston's visit to Chapel Hill is the second visit of four officials that he's planned. The first being the October Midnight Madness event on the campus of Arizona.

When the 6-7 point guard from Peoria was asked about his communications with the UNC head coach, he was tight-lipped.

"Well, we have talked, but what we discussed is going to be kept kind of confidential," Livingston replied. "We talked about me coming to UNC and the scholarship situation there. But he asked me to keep it confidential."

There is a scholarship squeeze in Chapel Hill, with only one grant currently open, though more expectedly to free up in the near future. But assuredly, Williams told Livingston that there is room for him Chapel Hill.

Many recruiting analysts, college coaches as well as insiders have also started to question whether the lanky floor general will keep an eye on his status for the 2004 NBA Draft. After all, being a consensus top two player in high school, there are going to be a few people in his ear and a few NBA scouts at his games. Livingston answered the questions without hesitation...

"Right now my focus is on college," he said. "I haven't talked with anyone about where I'm being projected at right now. Me and my coach have talked and our strategy is going to be to play out this season and see if (the NBA scouts) are still interested in me. I should know pretty much where I stand by April 1st. If I'm projected as a top ten pick, I'll probably go. If I'm projected as a top five kid -- It's a sure bet that I'll go. But right now, my focus is on college."

Many NBA notables love Livingston's length, his ball-handling wizardry and his sharp passing skills, but those same scouts have doubts about his strength and his outside shot. Livingston plans to work on those aspects, of course.

"My focus for my senior year will be my physical ability," he said. "I have to get stronger. I have to play more physical and I've got to improve my consistency with the outside shot."

And as for a current leader in his recruitment?

"No, not right now. I have no leader," he said. "I can't really have a leader until I take all of my visits. I've only visited Duke, so some people will think that they could be leading, but it's not really fair to say that because I haven't seen all of the other schools just yet."

So, any chance of a commitment on the weekend of Sept. 6th?

"No, not at all. I'm going to take all of my visits," said Livingston.

The war for the top point guard in the country is on. The last four coaches standing are Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, Lute Olsen of Arizona, Roy Williams of North Carolina and Bruce Weber of Illinois. All coaches have offered and all are focused to bring Livingston on campus and get a commitment.

And understandably so. Aside from Georgia's Dwight Howard, there are very few players of elite caliber that can step on campus from day one and lead an offense -- let alone an offense of one of the top four basketball programs in the nation.

But Livingston is one who can do just that.

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