The 7-foot-1 junior center from Garces Memorial High School in Bakersfield, Calif. has made several statements to the media that the North Carolina Tar Heels are on his short list of colleges. He's watched them play and he knows that the Heels know how to involve their big men.
"I make him watch the teams and see how they use their big men," said Bruce Swift, his father, from his cell phone. "We know which schools are strictly guard schools and we know which schools know how to utilize their big guys. I'm here to help guide him through this (recruiting) process."
Swift, who turned 17 on Tuesday, has added 25 pounds of muscle over the last eight months and is working on his low post game and strength. The agile center played with the California Team Select this spring at the Boo Williams Invitational and showcased an ability to block and alter shots in the lane as well as hit soft jumpers from mid-range with defenders in his face. We liked the way that the big guy ran the floor and played good help-side defense as well. His navigation in the paint and agility were most impressive.
Swift's mother, Rhonda reportedly sorts through 20-80 letters a day from college coaches across the country and while he remains open in terms of a leader -- his mother and father believe that three schools could be in a class by themselves at the current time.
"UCLA, USC and North Carolina are the top three right now," Rhonda Swift said, "but that could change."
Bruce concurs but has a different spin on things:
"Well, yeah, those are the three right now, but UCLA has dropped off a bit. They really don't know how to use a big man at all. He can't go to a school that's a guard school."
According to pops, there are some schools that have shown that they involve the post players in their offensive scheme. And as for who they are -- we'll just let him do the talking:
"USC, North Carolina, Texas and Arizona," he exclaimed. "They know how to use a big man."
The elder Swift told Inside Carolina that his son was very interested in North Carolina but that they weren't sure of the level of interest from the UNC staff at this time. Swift says that a representative from UNC's staff made the journey to Bakersfield last year to watch the young center work out and that they had received letters -- but at this juncture, no recruiting intensity had been shown by the staff at UNC.
Swift enters his junior year at Garces Memorial this season where he hopes to improve on his stats from last season of 18 points, 11 blocks, nine rebounds and four assists per game. He will again tour with California Team Select in the spring and summer.