Echefu will likely sign late

While the Tar Heels are focused right now on the likes of Tyler Hansbrough and Richard Hendrix, they are keeping an eye on other post prospects -- such as Uche Echefu. The 6-8, 225-pound rising senior at Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian Academy is nowhere near narrowing down his list and is expected to be a spring signee.

"It's wide open for this kid," said Montrose assistant David Adkins. "He's probably [going to be] a late signer."

A strong interior player with an impressive physique, Echefu has only been playing basketball for just over three years and is quickly developing a more well-rounded game, as he averaged 15 points, eight boards and three blocks last season. If he's still available in the spring, he'll likely be a hot commodity.

"Georgia, Texas, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Florida, Florida State, NC State and Georgetown are just some of the schools that are going to recruit him," Adkins said.

There has been little written about Echefu of late because he hasn't been on the AAU circuit this spring -- as is often the case with Montrose players. His summer plans include the NBA Camp in Richmond, Va. later this month and then the Nike Camp in Bloomington, Ind. in July.

The Tar Heels have him on their radar and will likely be keeping an eye on him this summer.

"[UNC assistant] Steve Robinson came up [to see Uche] in April," Adkins said. "He's going come back up in the fall and they'll see him at Nike."

Would Carolina have a good shot of landing Echefu if they got involved?

"I mean if they want to recruit him I think they'd have an excellent shot at him," Adkins said. "He's not enamored with the Duke's, the Carolina's and the UCLA's because he didn't grow up over here. But they'd have an excellent shot if they wanted to recruit him."

UNC is looking for post depth from the Class of 2005, and the coaches will want to see that Echefu is willing to stick to his strengths -- in the post.

"When Coach [Robinson] was up here, Uche kind of was working on his perimeter game," Adkins said. "I think Coach was looking for him to play more inside. He does that, but he just didn't when Coach Robinson was here."

And even if the Tar Heels don't end up pursuing Echefu, Robinson's trip to Rockville has put a rising sophomore post player on UNC's watch list.

"Steve Robinson and Herb Sendek really liked Herb Pope," Adkins said of the 6-8 power forward/center. "He's got a great feel for the game, has strength, a good jump-hook, and is a hard worker. He was the first big man off the bench for us last year."


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