Junior to Watch: Robert Swift

About halfway between Los Angeles and Fresno -- lies Bakersfield, Calif. And in Bakersfield, there's a certain 7-footer about to enter his junior year at Garces Memorial High School. His name is Robert Swift.

Swift, a coveted national prospect, is one of the most talented rising seniors in the nation. He's nimble. He can shoot it a little and he gets off the floor with ease. That alone makes him worthy of national recruiting attention. And the fact that the University of North Carolina is recruiting him, makes him worthy of the attention of UNC fans.

We were able to speak with Swift yesterday afternoon over the phone and he's already got a certain trio of schools atop his wish list. And, although he wouldn't release any timetable as to when he'd make a decision, he wasn't shy about who the three leaders were right now.

"USC, UNC and UCLA are my top three," Swift said. And he's under the impression that all three schools have already offered him a full scholarship (though, as we know, official offers are always a complex issue).

"USC is in the lead right now, followed by UNC and then UCLA," he added. "I talk with the folks at USC as often as I can, sometimes a few times a week."

We asked Swift what intrigued him about North Carolina.

"I just like the style that they bring," he said. "They get up and down the floor and their big man gets a lot of chances to score in transition. It seems like their big men get a lot of chances."

"I also like the fans there. They just really seem to love basketball over there," he added.

In his sophomore season at Garces Memorial, the seven footer put up some pretty solid numbers. He averaged 19 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks per contest. And he also passed the ball well enough to average almost three assists per game.

When asked about his strengths on the court, Swift sees himself as a guy who'll do the little things to help his squad win.

"When I go out there and play, I try to hustle every play," he said. "I'm going to hit the floor for loose balls and do everything that I can to help the team win. And I'll pass the ball out to spot up shooters for three pointers when I get the chance too. I like to pass the ball and find the open man."

Even though Swift has an early trio of leaders, he definitely has his eyes on some other schools as well. Among those are Duke, Texas and California.

He tells us that he has grown to almost 7-1 now and that his weight was approaching 235 pounds the last time that he stepped on the scale.

Clint's scouting report on Robert Swift --

Runs the floor quickly. Looks to pass, good instincts. Very quick to make decisions with the ball. Mobile and can dribble in the open floor without being nervous. Decent high release jump shot. Impressive defender who has nice leaping ability. Understands ball movement and looks to be very coachable. Holds ball high in the post. Good feet for rebounding purpose in traffic. Has instincts to push the ball up the floor when he should. Could evolve into a big time shot blocker. Needs to be more assertive with scoring chances on the block. Perfect center for a high speed team. Needs to increase upper body strength. Absorbs bodily contact well with his hips and legs taking pressure off of his upper body. Keeps hands up on defense.

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