Coaches love Costner

Coaches from the nation's big-time hoops programs, North Carolina included, are flocking to West Orange, N.J. to check out Brandon Costner, one of the top frontcourt players in the class of 2005.

There are a couple of things that a basketball prospect can count on if he is lucky enough to play for the Playaz, a powerful Philadelphia/New Jersey based AAU team.

One is that the kid will get exposure. Mega exposure. The Playaz tour the nation and participate in many spring, summer and fall events. They're invited to just about every event that they can attend and they usually make the trip when invited.

The second thing is the kid will get many chances to impress onlookers since the Playaz usually stick around for the later rounds of play and in many cases -- they'll make it all the way to the championship rounds. They're basically a household name to all coaches, recruiting analysts and even basketball junkies.

Brandon Costner, a skilled 6-8 junior power forward has definitely benefited from being on the Playaz roster. In fact, his list of schools proves that he's been seen. Better yet, he's already being recruited pretty heavily.

"NC State, Michigan, UNC, Indiana, Kansas, Virginia," Costner said, referring to who was recruiting him. "There are some others on there as well."

Costner is already in Top 25 rankings by both Dave Telep's TheInsidersHoops and Hoopmasters, but the Seton Hall Prep baller isn't satisfied with just being in the Top 25. He is setting higher goals for himself.

"It feels pretty good to be ranked there," he said. "But I know I need to work on some things this year. I know I need to work on my foot speed and my strength. I want to be even higher on the list."

The forward showcased his skills and athletic ability at several events this year including the Tournament of Champions, NBA Players Camp and the ABCD camp. He'll play some center for Seton Hall Prep this year, but also expects to slide over to the forward slots as well to showcase his jumper and face-the-basket skills.

Sources have confirmed that the UNC basketball staff is going to keep a close eye on the 225-pounder this year and Costner seems to like the idea of being on the radar for the Tar Heels.

"I've gotten some interest from them," he said. "Some other schools have shown more interest, but I still like Carolina. They're on there."

The Tar Heels sent one of their coaches up to see Costner in an open gym last month. But the Tar Heels weren't the only program on the sidelines in New Jersey. Not at all. Coaches from UCLA, Kansas, Georgetown, Clemson, Michigan, Stanford, NC State and Virginia Tech were also on hand to check him out. And it looks like he's going to be one of those 'national" recruits that will be recruited by schools from all the major conferences.

"I really don't have a timetable or anything for a decision," said Costner, who sports a 3.4 GPA. "I'm just going to see how it goes. Take my time and all."

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