N.C. Spotlight: William Graves

William Graves hadn't even suited up for a high school basketball game -- not varsity, JV or even on the freshman team -- but he had already attracted plenty of attention from the North Carolina coaching staff.

The 6-4 1/2, 200-pound Greensboro Dudley (N.C.) freshman forward joined his sophomore teammate Kevin Swinton in attending the Tar Heels Midnight Madness in October.

"It was a real good experience," Graves said. "I got a chance to talk to the players, ask them questions and see how they made it to where they are. I saw what footsteps I need to follow."

Graves is just 14 years old, but already schools like UNC, Duke, Syracuse, N.C. State, Florida State and UCLA are being uttered from his mouth. It won't be long before each of them is aware of him as well.

"I've been a fan of Carolina since I was about 7," he added. "It used to be Duke, but then I changed over because most of my friends were Carolina fans, so I started liking them."

"He's a great player and can take it left or right," Dudley coach David Price said. "He plays above the rim and has the total package."

Graves has played in two games -- both wins -- and he didn't waste much time in making an impact at the high school level. He scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in his debut and finished with 4 points, 9 boards and 6 assists in his second game.

"I consider myself a point forward like Scottie Pippen," added Graves. "I also work hard to get to the basket and like pulling up in the lane."

Graves still needs to improve his perimeter shot and his ballhandling skills if he's going to play in the backcourt at the next level. But he's still so young that he might grow a few more inches and be more of a forward in college.

Graves played this past summer for the Greensboro Warriors and did plenty of traveling, including a trio of tournaments in Orlando at the Wide World of Sports Disney Complex.

"The first think you notice about Graves is his bulk," Prepstars analyst Rob Harrington said. "He already weighs in excess of 200 pounds, which is unusual and impressive for a 6-4 freshman. Graves jumps better than most high school kids and can finish in a variety of ways at the basket.

"He doesn't make all his jump shots right now, but he has a very nice stroke which should make him a very dangerous perimeter shooter in the future," added Harrington. "He needs to cultivate his dribbling and, if anything, guard against gaining too much weight."

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