'[Copeland] Has Such a Good Low Post Game'

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Winston-Salem (N.C.) Reynolds head coach Howard West was in the stands of the Greensboro Coliseum Monday night to watch his senior standout, Michael Copeland. Inside Carolina spoke with West about Copeland's recruitment and his game ...

Has Michael Copeland qualified?

Not yet.

Where does his recruitment stand - what sort of information are you getting from UNC?

He is still taking a course. He hasn't finished yet. A lot depends on what he makes on that course. If he makes a certain score, the North Carolina coaching staff will make a decision.

So there is no chance of an offer until he gets that score?

I wouldn't think they would offer until he is qualified. That is a safe assumption.

So his qualifying is all about one class?

Right now that seems to be it. Anything that has to do with his qualifying, you'll have to ask the North Carolina coaching staff. They are up on all that stuff.

Being where I am [heading to the new Reagan High School this fall], with a new athletic director, starting a new school and stuff, I'm still with him, but as far as when things are being done, I'm out of that. I'm pulling for him; he's a great kid. He works so hard.

Is what we saw tonight pretty typical of his game?

In both all-star games this year, he's been stuck playing the four-spot. And that's OK, but the reason why he was so successful for me was [his play on] the low block. He's got such a great low post game. You can see, when he gets down on the low block, he's really comfortable down there.

But he can step out because of the way we played our offense. He can step out, pass the ball, put it down, knock down a three. That [three-pointer tonight] was not a surprise to me. He knocked down a bunch for us this year. He's got more skills than just dunking; Mike has a nice low-post game, and he has developed a perimeter game. But [UNC] is looking at him mainly as an inside player because of his size.

What size is he?

He's lost a little weight from the last time I saw him. At the end of school he was about 235 [pounds] or 240; I think he's down to about 230 now. I think a good size for him by the end of his freshman year is probably about 240. That's his game - he's got that big ol' butt down there to move people around, spin on them and stuff like that.

Do you think he has the talent level to compete in the ACC?

If you look at some of the guys who have competed on the low block in the ACC the past few years at his size - look at Virginia's Travis Watson. Mike is a very similar player. Travis bulked up a lot his last year or two. You have some of the guys at Clemson who were 6-7 or 6-8, 240. He's got a chance because he has such a good low post game. But I can't speak for Carolina's coaching staff. They make all those decisions. Obviously, they make some pretty good ones - they are national champs.

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