Joneliunas -- 'No leader'

North Carolina's need for another big man was quite apparent in the team's two losses last week. One of the possibilities in 2003 is Paulius Joneliunas, and <i>Inside Carolina</i>'s Clint Jackson spoke with the Lithuanian native last night.

Many folks think that Paulius Joneliunas is all but wrapped up for South Carolina. His high school coach says they are the team to beat. Some college coaches think it's a done deal, and some even think that he's not even worth the time or effort to recruit because Dave Odom supposedly has him if he wants him.

As to whether or not the Lithuanian pipeline to Odom is still alive and well -- we'll soon find out. But the Lithuanian big man says that the rumors may be a bit premature.

"I have no leader. I have no favorite school right now," said the skilled big man in his monotone voice.

His coach, Dick Wall at Roanoke Catholic confirmed scholarship offers last week from quite a few college programs and while the Tar Heels have not made the official offer to Joneliunas just yet -- he's hoping for one.

"Yes, I want to get offered by North Carolina," he said. "It was a good trip there, and I had a good time. It was a good game."

The Tar Heels hosted the much desired big man from the class of 2003 for their victory over Penn State earlier this Fall. And he's been officially offered a scholarship by a host of schools such as Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Richmond, Radford, Elon, Texas and SMU. He's also fully qualified for freshman eligibility under NCAA guidelines as he scored an 870 on his first crack at the SAT.

Some of the schools are calling him a "must get" as he's most certainly one of the best big men in the country that's still uncommitted. And if you're no stranger to recruiting -- you know that good big men are EXTREMELY hard to find. Especially this late in the game.

When asked which schools he was seriously considering -- the big man had no trouble coming up with a list.

"South Carolina, SMU, Richmond, Texas, UNC, Clemson and Kansas," he recited.

And as to what the most important factor was in making a selection -- there was a programmed response that didn't take very long to mumble.

"Immediate playing time is most important," he noted.

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