Hoops staff on the recruiting trail

After spending Wednesday night meeting with Chris Paul, the North Carolina coaching staff embarked on a new significant trip to see another coveted player from the Class of 2003.

Chris Richard
Inside Carolina has learned that two members of the Carolina basketball staff are currently in Lakeland, Fla.

Lakeland is the home of Kathleen High standout Chris Richard, a 6-9, 235-pound post player who emerged onto the national scene at the Boo Williams Invitational earlier this month. The Tar Heels staff will have an uphill battle if they plan to beat out Billy Donovan's Florida Gators for the in-state star.

Here are some excerpts from IC's Boo coverage ...

Friday - Richard didn't score many points on Friday night, but he showed off his power and athleticism in the paint. "A lot of post players try to play with finesse," Richard said. "I play stronger than them." It's the combination of strength and athleticism that have many big-time schools showing interest, as Richard mentioned Florida, Maryland, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Auburn and Alabama. He's active inside, he plays with an assertive nature and really goes after the boards ...

Saturday - We talked a little about him in last night's article, noting that while he didn't necessarily have the offensive skills, his size, strength and explosiveness made him a menacing presence in the paint. Well, today he scored 23 points in an afternoon matchup with the New Jersey All-Stars. He mentioned a bunch of big-name schools last night that were showing interest, and today he added that Florida offered him a scholarship several days ago. The secret is out – Chris Richard is a coveted big man.

And here's what other analysts are saying about Richard ...

IC's Clint Jackson - "Loved this kid. He's not a polished guy yet, by any means, but he's got all of the tools to evolve into a stud. We're talking top-20 stud. Richard brings a tremendous amount of energy and he's a monster on the boards. He showed flashes of Chris Wilcox in his game which had analysts (myself included) salivating at the mouth. Aggressive, intense, athletic, active and strong -- Richard is all of the above."

Rob Matera, of the All Star Report - "Chiseled 6'9 athlete. Superb leaper and strong as a bull. Very raw at the offensive end, but shows a lot of promise as a rebounder/shot-blocker. Still learning to play under control. Could be super down the road. High major prospect."

Dave Telep, of TheInsidersHoops.com - Has scary potential. Sprouted a few inches from 6-5 to 6-8 for his junior year. Athletically, he's like Maryland's Chris Wilcox, though not as gifted offensively. Roams the paint to block shots and gets from one block to the other as fast as anyone. With improved offense he can really become a terrific prospect

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