2005 Spotlight: Kevin Swinton

While the North Carolina staff still tries to determine whether there's a worthwhile big man left in the Class of 2003 or whether they should hold off and try and grab someone like Brian Johnson from the following class, it's clear there's some quality home-grown talent in the state that could help in a couple of years.

Greensboro Dudley sophomore Kevin Swinton is someone that the Tar Heels already have their eyes on, evident by the fact that the 6-7 ½, 225-pound forward was in attendance, along with freshman teammate William Graves, for Midnight Madness last month.

"I was surprised that they invited me," said Swinton, who averaged 20 points and 10 boards per game as a freshman at Southeast Guilford High. "I met the whole team and it was pretty fun."

Swinton isn't your typical 15-year-old. He not only acts and talks far more mature than a typical high school sophomore, but pointed out a highlight of the Midnight Madness experience that would differ from most.

"I got a chance to sit right in front of Phil Ford and meet him," said Swinton, who has a 3.2 GPA.

Swinton, who played with the Gaters 15-and-under team this past summer, has good athleticism and is a strong inside player who is also able to face up to the basket and knock down the mid-range jumper.

"He's a very strong kid for a sophomore," Greensboro Dudley coach David Price said. "He needs to learn to run the floor hard all the time, but that's a pattern that a lot of young kids fall into."

According to Prep Stars analyst Rob Harrington, Swinton has a lot of potential.

"He is a promising athlete who has a solid frame," Harrington said. "By the time he graduates from high school, he should be both strong and athletic.

"His height could be an issue. He's listed as tall as 6-8, but he may be closer to 6-6. He needs to become more diversified in the post and either grow a couple of inches or improve his ball skills to the point that he can play on the wing. He's a high-major prospect."

Swinton suffered a knee injury on the third day of practice a year ago that required surgery. He missed the first few games before returning to the lineup and making his presence felt immediately.

Swinton grew up as a Carolina fan and the Tar Heels seem to have the early advantage with the up-and-coming big man. However, he also mentioned Wake Forest, Kansas, Syracuse and Virginia Tech as schools that also already have him on the radar.

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