Sophomore Watch: Kenny Belton

While North Carolina's top priority remains on 2005, recruiting is an ongoing cycle. To that end, 2007 prospect Kenny Belton -- a 6-7 power forward from Salem (Va.) High -- and his father visited Chapel Hill unofficially two weekends ago.

According to Belton's high school coach Grant Smythers, it was a productive weekend.

"Everything went well and they had a good time," Smythers said. "They were able to spend the weekend down there and go watch the guys play before going to the football game."

Although Belton didn't get to participate in any pickup games, he was able to get a good feel for the Tar Heels and their players. He also got to take in the Louisville game with the team and coaching staff.

"He was able to intermingle with all of the players and they welcomed him with open arms which was important," said Smythers. "He also had the opportunity to spend some time with Coach Robinson and Coach Williams."

Even though it is very early in the process, several high majors have been in contact with Belton. In addition to UNC, the 224-pound 15-year-old with size 18 feet has heard from the likes of Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech, NC State, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and several others. He's already been to Wake unofficially, has camped at N.C. State and will see Virginia Tech soon.

As for his court game, his coach sees a traditional power forward who loves to use his already chiseled frame to bulldoze opponents around the paint. He has shooting range out to 12 feet, passes well and looks to make contact when setting screens.

"He's a prototypical power forward, I really think God made him to be a power forward," said Smythers. "He has the build of a manchild, that's the first thing a lot of people say when the see him. He rebounds well, he runs the floor well and he's a good low post scorer. He also jumps well and gets off the floor quickly for a big kid."

Belton isn't well known on the national recruiting scene just yet, but that is likely to change. He made the all-tournament team in the 16-U Division at the Tournament of Champions last May playing with the Roanoke Hawks. He was also invited to attend both Nike and Adidas Camp over the summer but had to skip them because of injury.

According to Smythers, Belton and his family would like to have a college decision made during his junior year and that is part of why he is knocking out visits so early. He's a solid student with a 3.0 GPA but more than anything he is a solid citizen who wins people over with his character.

"The biggest thing that he's got going for him and a lot of coaches have mentioned this to me is his character," said Smythers. "One coach told me you fall in love with him and you meet him and that makes you want to see him again. His character will outweigh any deficiencies that you might see in his game."


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