ABCD: Lamarcus Aldridge Spotlight

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Could Lamarcus Aldridge live up to the expectations? On Monday at the ABCD Camp, he proved the hype was justified.

In the camp's first day of games, Aldridge impressed the nation's top analysts, most of whom were watching him for the first time.

"He has a world of potential," commented grassroots godfather Tom Konchalski.

In warm-ups, Aldridge drained threes, but once the game began, he hit the blocks -- scoring with both hands, knocking down a turnaround jumper, beating his defender down the floor to throw down an alley-oop, swatting shots, skying to snag rebounds, even grabbing steals both in the post and the open floor. All this while UNC assistant Fred Quartlebaum watched from the stands.

In the evening game, the Dallas native totaled 18 points, nine boards, two blocks, two assists and four steals.

"It feels nice to be here," he said. "I know I fit in … it feels good to be around [top] players."

Aldridge's frame speaks to his potential, as he stands a long 6-10 – with possibly more inches to come -- and 217 pounds.

"I think I'm going to be about 7-1, 7-2," he said. "I don't want to, but that's what people are saying I'm going to be."

He's trying add weight, but it's been a slow process thus far.

"I've gained about a pound," he said. "I've been eating all these special foods and weight gainers. I weigh 217 now -- I want to be about 230."

Aldridge has already visited a number of schools, including a trip to the Triangle last month, including a day in Chapel Hill.

"I hung out with the coaches, I hung out with the players and played some pickup, and I met with the academic counselor," he said of his visit to UNC. "It was nice – it was really nice. Nice facilities, nice practice gym. I liked it.

"I had to hold back [from commiting]. I don't want to commit too early. I want to wait until at least my junior year."

After the visit a few weeks ago, Aldridge's AAU coach told IC that the rising junior star had a list of about eight schools.

"Yeah, but that changed," Aldridge said. "I have a main three now. North Carolina, Florida and Arkansas."

The Tar Heels were atop his list earlier this year – is that still the case?

"Yeah, they're still No. 1," he said.

As for the other two schools in his top three …

"Right now Florida is looking really high on my list," Aldridge said. "I visited [Arkansas] and liked all of it. Coach Heath is real nice and down to earth."

But, as is the case with all of the nation's top big men, the opportunity of going straight to the NBA can't be ignored. Aldridge's AAU coach has made several comments to the media in the past few months about the possibility of making the jump.

"I don't think about it. I think about college," Aldridge said. "I think I'm going to college. But if it happens, and I can end up in the green room, then I'll go."

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