Heels Watch Poling

With over 300 college coaches on hand, it's no surprise that the Kingwood Classic could be overwhelming for some players -- but not Andy Poling. The 6-10, 200-pound center played in the Houston event this past weekend and showed high major coaches that he is one of the best big men in the 2008 class.

"I'm used to it," Poling said of playing in front of high profile coaches. "It makes me play harder. I've played before in the big tournaments last year so it wasn't as big of a deal to me this time.

"There was a bunch of coaches in the gym and stuff. I thought I played well on the block and outside a little bit as well as running the floor that's pretty much what I do best."

While he is used to the attention, that didn't make the experience any less exciting.

"I thought it was pretty cool and pretty special," he said. "It's pretty awesome when you see almost every Pac-10 school in the gym. Plus guys like Gonzaga and some other schools, it was pretty special."

Poling said Ben Howland (UCLA), Lute Olson (Arizona) and Lorenzo Romar (Washington) were the coaches that he noticed the most this weekend. He also noticed an ACC coach at one of his games.

"Roy Williams came to our second game," said Poling, who averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds for Portland (Ore.) Westview last season.

At this point North Carolina hasn't shown a substantial amount of interest, but the Tar Heel staff was in touch with Poling's high school coach prior to Kingwood.

"A little bit through email through my high school coach but not so much with me, maybe soon," Poling said. "I would consider them."

Scout.com's 3rd ranked center in the class of 2008 mentioned Gonzaga, Washington, UCLA and Arizona as the schools that are showing the most interest. However, he's still in the early stages of his recruitment, and would love to see more coaches at his games this weekend in Las Vegas.

"Oh yeah, sure," Poling responded when asked if he was open to hearing from more schools. "Just because a school hasn't come in yet doesn't mean that I'm not going to look at them. A lot of schools don't like to come in with the younger guys like some schools do. They like to wait until you're older."

Expert Scouting Notes from Kingwood

Eric Bossi -- "He doesn't really have all that much help on his team, but there's plenty to like with his game. 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."

Andy Poling Profile


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