Nike: Top 10 2003 Centers

<i>Inside Carolina</i>'s Indianapolis correspondent wraps up the coverage by analyzing the top rising senior centers at the Nike Camp.

1. Kenneth Harris, 6-9, Gary (Ind.) Bishop Noll

For critics who sometimes concentrate on Harris' gerth (351 pounds), they forget that he's difficult to handle in the paint and will be a terror at Valparaiso. His hands are fine, moves well and will battle. The plan is simple for Harris, he controls whether or not he can be a star.

2. Drew Naymick, 6-10, North Muskegon (Mich.)

It's easy to see why Stanford, Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State clamor for the big man. He's smart on the court, works hard and has a nice feel for the game. He'll be a starter by his sophomore year at any of those schools for sure, and perhaps even earlier.

3. Shagari Alleyne, 7-3, New York (N.Y.) Rice

The Alleyne story is pretty well known by now, but he is making progress, though slower than what some have written. There are things he does well and a lot of things he doesn't. Hopefully, he'll pick a school that is right for him or else he'll just become a trivia question for recruitniks.

4. Courtney Sims, 6-10, Roslindale (Mass.) Noble and Greenough School

Few players might have enhanced their stock as much as Sims did. He's bouncy, runs the floor great, has good shot-blocking instincts, academically qualified and is open to new schools. He might not be a Brian Butch or David Padgett, but guess who will get a call when a college misses out on a higher profile big man?

5. Ousmane Barro, 6-8, Chicago (Ill.) Julian

It's really hard to believe that Barro just started playing basketball not that long ago and has never played a high school game. Might be a power forward down the line but he's pretty good at running the floor, not clumsy and shows a nice touch. If he can get eligible next year – he has some foreign exchange student issues to work out at Julian – he'll be closely watched.

6. Longar Longar, 6-9, Rochester (Minn.) John Marshall

Like Barro, Longar is another ex-foreigner but he's pretty gifted at blocking shots, will surprise with his driving ability and is a quick leaper. If he's got everything in order off the court, he'll be a main priority for several big-name colleges.

7. Grant Billmeier, 6-10, Pennington (N.J.) St. Patrick

After receiving a lot of hype early in his prep career, Billmeier is finally a senior and is developing nicely. He's sturdy, shoots pretty well and operates nicely in a halfcourt setting.

8. Josh Higgins, 6-11, Dayton (Ohio) Vandalia-Butler

Yes, he does need to lose weight at 311 pounds. And yes, he'll never be a dynamic athlete. But colleges need size and he has it. Plus, he's got soft hands, is a good decision maker and has a good left-handed shooting touch that extends outward, which gives hope that he'll be a good high-post center.

9. Vince Scott, 6-10, Phoenix (Ariz.) Greenway

Definitely a project and thin, but he runs the floor easily and has a nice touch in the lane. He'd be great for a low-Division I school or a redshirt candidate at a college up the ladder.

10. Jimmy Sokolowski, 7-3, Toronto (Canada) Chinguacousy Secondary School

Wow, what can you say? He's huge and has no basketball ability at this point in his development. For a college coach, they'll earn every cent of their salary if they can make him into a productive player. However, he does try hard and that's encouraging. Because I feel sorry for him, I hope it works out.


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