Kelly Falling Off UNC Radar

North Carolina was always Curtis Kelly's "dream school," but it appears the Rice High (N.Y.) 6-8 ½, 215-pound junior won't be calling Chapel Hill home.

Kelly ( No. 12), considered one of the elite big men in a class loaded with big-time frontcourt players, still has the Tar Heels among his leaders. However, it doesn't appear as though the interest is mutual.

"They aren't recruiting me hard at all," Kelly said. "I love them. It's crazy because people out there love me. They knew I liked their school and knew who I was when I came down there to play a tournament last summer."

"I'm like `wow'," he added. "They just aren't really recruiting me and I don't know why. I'm just going to wait and be patient."

For now, Texas has moved into the lead spot for Kelly with schools such as Syracuse, South Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Georgia Tech also in the mix.

"Texas is pushing me," Kelly added. "I'm not saying I'm going to commit, but I like them a lot and they're recruiting me real hard."

Kelly began his junior campaign with 18 points, 14 boards and 7 blocks in a victory against Lincoln and had 9 points, 20 rebounds and 6 blocks in a win against a Theo Davis-less Cardozo team as Rice improved to 2-0.

One year ago, Kelly was watching from the sidelines, suspended due to academics.

"I've matured," Kelly said. "I started to realize what I'm losing by not playing. I sat down and realized that I could miss out on the chance to go to college or to the league if I don't get my grades up and pass the SAT."

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