Samuels Emerging as Top Target

Success is often defined relative to expectations. Samardo Samuels entered the summer as the top-ranked center in the 2008 class, and the 6-8, 240-pound prospect maintained that rankings – yet his overall performance on the circuit this year came up short of his coach's expectations.

"He did what he's supposed to do," said Karriem Memminger, Samuels' AAU coach with the Metro Hawks. "I don't think he had the [summer] he could have had, but he did well."

"Everyone expected him to come and dominate everybody. He didn't play badly, but he didn't dominate everybody like they have known him to. We talked about it. He'll be fine."

The Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict's standout has a strong, imposing frame that helps him control the boards. He's also relatively skilled around the basket and if he gets it close to the hoop, expect him to throw it down. According to Memminger, Samuels hasn't yet come close to his full potential.

"No one has seen the real Samardo Samuels and what he can really do. He's really talented. It's scary."

He's so talented the he's being recruited by the likes of Connecticut, Louisville, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, St. John's, North Carolina and Duke. The last two even told Samuels that he was No. 1 on their list of center targets.

"Roy Williams is recruiting him himself, but I've been dealing with [assistant coach] Joe Holladay," he said. "He's their number one [target] for the 08 class of all the big guys. Them and Duke said he is their number one focus."

"They only get that one phone call [per NCAA rules]. [North Carolina] runs a clean ship over there. Whenever they can call they do. Whenever they can't they don't."

Memminger stated that all eight schools on the list have offered a scholarship and said that Samuels hopes to unofficially visit all eight schools.

"We are going to try and go to Duke/North Carolina in Cameron. We're going to go to Louisville/Kentucky at Louisville. Depending on his high school schedule and how flexible it is we will take them all.

"Those are the games they are shooting for. They want us to see their home crowds and the rivalry."

While on his visits Samuels will be looking to develop a relationship with the coaches, as that will be the key to him making his final decision.

"Whichever coach he feels the most comfortable and puts his trust in," Memminger responded. "We're going to try and take unofficials and then take some officials visits. Then we'll sit down and weigh out the pros and cons, we'll give him some advice and then he'll make the decision."

Samardo Samuels Profile

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