UNC keeping tabs on Davis?

It's obvious that the basketball staff at North Carolina loves the thought of 6-11, 235-pound Dwight Howard wearing light blue for his college tenure. But that's not likely to happen, as Howard, the consensus top player in the senior class, is a safe bet to be high lottery pick and thus almost a lock to head straight to the NBA after high school.

It's already confirmed that Williams plans to recruit Tyler Hansbrough, a rugged and tough junior power forward from Missouri. And the Tar Heel head man has got some other underclassmen to keep on the radar as well.

But will he also keep an eye on the junior college prospects?

Sources close to the program informed Inside Carolina about a month ago that 7-0, 280-pound James Davis from Garden City Community College may be one of the post players that Williams will watch closely for the next two years.

"I think Roy wants to see how Byron Sanders and Damion Grant develop this year," said the source, "but he's going to keep an eye on Davis because he has the size and the skills to play at a big time college. And because he's a true center."

Davis was originally recruited by several high major programs out of high school such as Iowa, Louisville, Minnesota, Florida State, Clemson and Purdue. But because of grade issues, he chose the JuCo route rather than sitting out his first year at Louisville. And former University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin assistant coach, Ryan Swanson, recruited him to attend Garden City (Kan.) Community College. Swanson, in his first year as head coach, will be the man in charge of bringing the basketball program in Garden City back to life.

"When I got the job, he was the first kid that I recruited," said Swanson. "He's a big time kid."

Swanson says that his big guy has had some late troubles though.

"He's actually about 290 pounds right now because he's had some health problems since he got here this summer. After he had just recovered from one illness -- he got pneumonia. But he's back now and he's going to get back down to about 280 before the season starts."

According to Swanson, Davis has a lot to offer a high major program.

"He's just a big guy who can move. He's not a runner/jumper, but he can get up and down the floor. He'll do just fine with our team this year. He's got great hands. He can score around the basket and he's just so skilled. And he's a fantastic passer too. I can't say enough about his passing."

Many informed sources also indicate that Davis is a superb rebounder. Despite not playing basketball his junior year, he led the entire metro area his senior season in rebounding with 16 boards per game to go with 17 points in leading Minneapolis (Minn.) North to a 4A state championship, of which he was named MVP.

Lots of big time colleges are starting to evaluate and recruit the former All-State prep star as well.

"Kansas State has came to see him," said Swanson. "Others are Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota and I think Louisville will come see him too."

Has North Carolina made a call yet?

"I have not heard from them yet," said Swanson. "I wouldn't be surprised if I did though because Davis is a big time player. I'm sure (his recruitment) will pick up even more this year. We should have a good team this year.

"James has had a tough summer and pre-season with injuries and sickness, but is really starting to come on. I will be shocked if he is not one of the premier centers in the country, even as a freshman. He's much more than just big, he knows how to play and use his size effectively."


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