Athens (Ala.) High
Richard Hendrix is a man. He's a big man. And he's a big man who combines size, strength, skill and grace better than any other big man in the country.
Cut in a similar mold of Mike Sweetney, Elton Brand or possibly even Lonnie Baxter, Hendrix has the huge soft hands that catch just about everything thrown his way. He also possesses the rare ability to have fantastic agility to go along with his tremendous size.
Once he receives the ball in the paint, he goes to work. He takes big, long steps towards the goal and goes up strong to the basket forcing the defense to foul him or match his strength. Most of the time, the defense doesn't recover quick enough to prevent him from scoring. And they never match his strength.
Hendrix is also a fine athlete who has lost much of his baby fat over the last two years. But he's been able to retain his size while adding some additional quickness and explosion.
He boxes out on defense and swallows up rebounds inside and immediately looks to push the tempo with strong outlet passes. Hendrix is very aware in transition and understands how to run his lane on the break. And his guards seem comfortable using him on the break because of his sure hands. No plodder here folks.
He's just a classic low post player who uses his big strong shoulders, powerful legs and thick body to own the blocks. And it's simply too much to handle for the opposition.
He also has a soft touch on his jumper and has improved his range over the past 12 months. He's has a pretty reliable 15-footer now and can swish them out to the three-point-line if left open. And despite no one ever talking about it, Hendrix is a good shotblocker with respectable timing.
And what we love about Hendrix is that he's a tremendous weapon in both the half court game as he is in a track meet. And there aren't too many big men -- especially his size -- who can claim that same statement.
Hendrix is just 2005's low-block mack daddy. And he's one of the top half dozen players in the country.
BEST ASSETS -- Size, strength, low-post scoring, agility, advanced post skills, rebounding
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT -- Consistency, offensive rebounding