Perkins nears decision

Kendrick Perkins has never wavered on the fact that he'd pick a college prior to the first day of his senior year and then worry about the decision whether to go to the NBA.

School starts in less than two weeks and the Beaumont (Texas) Ozen center could have a decision any day now, according to his coach Andre Boutte.

"It could be as soon as this weekend," he said. "But it will probably be before the 11th or 12th, since that's when he starts school."

Boutte, who has basically raised Perkins, along with his grandparents, since he was little, said it's down to six schools – Memphis, Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, Texas A&M and Miami. At the recent ABCD camp last month, Perkins listed all of those schools except for Texas A&M, so it seems unlikely he'll choose the Aggies. Boutte and Perkins apparently have placed more importance in the relationships with the coaches and how they develop post players, rather than focus on school campuses -- hence the reason they won't be taking a round of official visits.

"Today is the last day coaches can come out and we don't really have a lot of questions left," Boutte said. "Then it's time to talk it out and make a decision."

"We know what we're looking for, we just want to hear it," he added.

Boutte also disputed a recent report that Texas and UNC are the co-leaders, but he did say that both schools have a legitimate chance of receiving a commitment from the 6-10, 265-pound Perkins.

Boutte admitted that UNC and Matt Doherty have been heavily pursuing Perkins for the better part of the last two years.

"Matt Doherty has done fine," he said. "Coach (Doug) Wojcik caught on real, real early and the biggest thing is that for them, it's not easy to get here. They really have to make arrangements to get all the way to Beaumont and they've done a good job."

Boutte acknowledged that he's going to have a voice in Perkins' decision, and it's clear the Beamount Ozen head coach has his best interest at heart. Boutte has been a surrogate father to Perkins since his mother died when he was 5 and his father left the area when he was a young child to pursue a professional basketball career overseas.

"I'm just looking for a good environment for the kid," said Boutte, a family friend who attended high school with Perkins' mother. "I'm just trying to help him in the feeling out process and make things easier for him to decide.

"However, I'd like for him to get it out of the way as soon as possible," added Boutte. "But I'm not going to say it's going to be Friday or Saturday or anything like that because if Friday comes and he's not ready, then we'll wait a little longer. I just don't want everyone asking him where he's going wherever he goes, especially once school starts."

Boutte opted to focus Perkins on individual workouts this summer rather than having him play AAU ball. The only major event that Perkins attended was the Adidas ABCD Camp in early July, where he averaged 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

While Perkins has been considered a sure thing to go from the preps to the pros, there has been recent speculation that he may, in fact, be leaning towards attending college. However, none of the talk really matters at this point because if NBA teams convey that he'll be a lottery pick, there's little chance Perkins will end up at any college campus.

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