Kingwood: UNC Staff Scouts Bigs

HOUSTON -- Saturday morning at Kingwood meant the arrival of college coaches and they were out in full force starting at eight in the morning. Among the coaches in attendance were North Carolina head man Roy Williams and his trusty assistant Steve Robinson. The duo shadowed some pretty big names on Saturday and there seemed to be an emphasis on following players with size.


Anthony Randolph - It could be argued that this long and lean 6-10 BF drew the biggest crowd of head coaches on Saturday when he and the Dallas Mustangs suited up against the New York Gauchos. With guys like Roy Williams, Lute Olson, Bill Self, Billy Gillespie, Jim Calhoun, Scott Drew, John Calipari and more on hand, Randolph put on a scintillating show. His ability to take defenders off the dribble at his size is beyond impressive and he's got a silky left handed jumper that is true to the three-point line. He's got to add strength to his lean frame and add some more consistency and toughness, but as a prospect there probably aren't 10 better in the class of 2007. His recruitment has officially taken off.

Ed Davis - Another splendid southpaw, Davis picked up where he left off at the Boo Williams Invivational. He ran the court for transition dunks, jumped over defenders for tip dunks and looked very confident stroking home elbow area jumpers. He's going to add some meat to his bones over the next few years and may still have an inch or two of growth left in him. It's a safe bet that the Carolina staff will continue to monitor his progress closely.

Blake Griffin - After a coming out party of sorts at Boo, Griffin started to mention some interest in North Carolina. The 6-8 big man from Oklahoma's interest was reciprocated on Saturday when both Williams and Robinson showed up to watch him play. He's a chiseled kid who dominates his opponents physically and matches his strength with smarts and fundamental play around the hoop. His stock is on a serious rise and says that he's open to entertaining more schools after previously saying he had a top three of Illinios, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Samardo Samuels - The Jamaican-bred big man is a beast on the blocks and knows exactly what he wants to do when he gets the ball and that's get to the rim in a hurry. He may not jump as high as some of the other class of 2008 big men, but he gets off the floor quickly. If he gets you on his backside he's got bad intentions and you aren't going to stop him from assaulting the rim. Carolina was among many big time staffs that looked on.

Andy Poling - Another class of 2008 big man, the 6-10 BF/C from Portland doesn't really have all that much help, but there's plenty to like with his game. Playing in front of Williams, the slender big man proved that he can run the floor and that he has the ability to make some really tough catches while on the run. He needs to add some strength, well actually quite a bit, but he's got good touch and a nice arsenal of post moves around the basket. The explosion isn't quite there yet, but he's far from unathletic and it's encouraging that he tries to fight through hacking arms in traffic for dunks.

James Hickson - Yet another post player who is receiving interest from the Heels, Hickson was up and down on Saturday. He's plenty strong and quick in the post and he has some post moves. However, after earning notoriety as a slender athlete the Georgian's body has developed in a way that his legs seem to be getting a little heavy and he doesn't seem to be near as explosive off the floor as in the past. Then again, it could be tired legs from playing plenty last weekend, traveling and then playing three times on Saturday. He's got the tools to be an elite big guy in 2007, but the jury is still out.

Kevin Love - At this point, there really isn't anything left to write about Love that hasn't already been written. It wasn't a surprise to see both Williams and UCLA's Ben Howland looking on and Love was his typical self. It isn't right that a kid who is as skilled and well versed in the art of playing the post plays with as much of an edge as Love does. In fact, it could be argued that he could stand to dial it down a notch or two.

Notes by Dave Telep: Anthony Randolph's high school coach rattled off a school list of Baylor, UNC, Memphis, Louisville, Texas, Wake Forest, Kentucky and Georgetown … Roy Williams was among the head coaches to watch West Virginia big man Patrick Patterson in an afternoon game, other head coaches in attendance were Florida, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, West Virginia, UConn, Clemson

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