Doherty makes big impression on Gibson

Daniel Gibson had a huge smile on his face after a 45-minute phone call yesterday. That's because the voice on the other end belonged to Matt Doherty.

Gibson's father, Byron, called Doherty in an effort to gauge the level of North Carolina's interest.

"He wanted to get to know him (Doherty) better," said Gibson, who has grown up rooting for the Tar Heels. "When I got on the phone, he did most of the talking. He was telling me I'm one of their top recruits and he would love for me to come to Carolina. He wants me to take an official visit before I make a decision."

"It was just a great day yesterday," he added. "I just couldn't stop smiling."

The decision will likely come sometime during this year for the 6-3, 185-pound junior combo guard from Jesse Jones High (Texas). The four leaders at this point, according to Gibson, are Texas, UNC, Arkansas and the newest school in the mix – Oklahoma. Kansas and Kentucky are also under consideration. However, sources close to the situation agree that Texas and UNC are the teams to beat.

"A lot of schools have been jumping in lately, but I'm pretty much open right now," added Gibson, who admitted that Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma have been the most aggressive of late. "I'm not ready to make a decision. I need to see the schools before I can say where I want to be."

Gibson admitted that Texas would be attractive, partially because he could follow in the footsteps of his good friend, T.J. Ford.

"The way he came in and won National Freshman of the Year and led them into the Sweet 16," Gibson said. "I can follow him and keep the tradition."

But North Carolina is right there with the Longhorns.

"It's a school I've admired all my life," he said. "I'm a Carolina fan and that's one of the reasons why they're one of my top schools. I plan to go down there for a visit."

Gibson, who already took an unofficial trip to Arkansas, is a combo guard who can excel at either spot in the backcourt. He didn't have as good of a summer as he would have liked, but in all fairness to Gibson, it wasn't easy for him to co-exist with Tack Minor on the Houston Hoops squad. Minor is not exactly the prototypical point guard, instead electing to make things happen on his own.

However, Gibson can knock down the 3-pointer with regularity and is also capable of beating his man off the dribble without much difficulty. Even when he's not having his best game, Gibson still looks like a Top 25 player. When his team needs him to score, he does so. When his team needs him to distribute and create easy opportunities for his teammates, he does that as well.

Now Gibson is staying after school every day and running and lifting weights to remain in shape. In addition to getting stronger, he is also trying to work on his ballhandling and court vision.

Gibson is a 3.97 student who averaged 26.8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists per game.

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