North Carolina coach Matt Doherty watched the Gulfport (Miss.) Harrison Central senior put up 22 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks in a game this past Friday against Biloxi, the defending state champs, and was impressed enough with the 6-9, 215-pound power forward to ask him to visit Chapel Hill.
"I spoke with them yesterday evening and we're trying to set up a time for him to go down there," said Harrison Central coach Ricky Stone. "It may be next week or the weekend of the 14th."
Stone said that Sanders has really started to come into his own of late, averaging 20 points and 14 boards per contest over the past half-dozen games. His overall numbers this season are 14.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.
It's like the light has finally come on," Stone added. "Right now he's really playing well."
Sanders is athletic and runs the floor well for a big guy. He's got good footwork, according to Stone, and catches the ball well in transition. If there has been one constant knock on Sanders, it's been a lack of aggressiveness. He will also need to improve his shooting ability.
UNC assistant coach Doug Wojcik watched Sanders practice for about three hours shortly after Thanksgiving and the staff has been in contact with Stone since August.
Sanders averaged 10 points, 11 boards and four blocks per game as a junior despite playing with a thumb injury he re-aggravated. He has put on about 25 pounds since last season and Stone feels he will probably put on another 15-20 before he gets to college because of his diligence in the weight room.
Tulane and South Alabama are the two schools that have shown the most consistent interest in Sanders, who has a 3.6 GPA and scored a 20 on the ACT, but Stone doesn't think it'll be much of a battle if the Tar Heels offer.
"He's the type of kid who will fit into Carolina because of his character and because he doesn't have an ego," Stone added. "He's thrilled, to say the least, with all the attention from Carolina. He's kept the whole process in perspective and is keeping all his options open.
"But if Carolina offers, I think he's going."
Dec. 27 - Doherty travels to Mississippi