Slam Dunk: D.J. White Spotlight

Lewes, Del. -- One Alabama forward didn't mention the Tar Heels, but the other one still lists UNC among his top six.

Wilcox Central (Ala.) 6-8 power forward Mike Williams, who is a hard-working rebounder and inside player, did not include UNC. Instead, he mentioned Florida, Alabama, Duke and Tennessee. His coach, Marc Dukes, also added Auburn, Indiana and Oklahoma to that group of schools that are pursuing him.

Williams is clearly a top 50 player in the 2004 class, but he's still not quite as polished as fellow Alabama native DJ White, a 6-8, 220-pound junior forward from Hillcrest (Ala.) who could be a legitimate top five player if he continues to progress as he has recently.

White is arguably one of the top 10 players right now in a class loaded with big-time talent. He is extremely active and relentless on both ends of the court and has started to play with more emotion than in the past.

White dominated Mississippi State-bound senior forward Travis Outlaw, possibly the top high school athlete in the entire nation, for 20 minutes in his first game, and then outplayed the Sanford (Del.) big man duo of Will Sheridan (Villanova) and Joe Dyson Sunday. He followed that up with 22 points and nine rebounds against 2003 star center David Padgett in the title game.

White, who is coached by former Alabama assistant Thad Fitzpatrick, won't be easy to pry from his home state. However, he continues to mention UNC just behind Indiana and the Crimson Tide.

The Hoosiers are thought to be the early leader because White is close with IU head coach Mike Davis. The two are familiar with one another because White grew up with Davis' son in Alabama.

White plays for the Alabama Lasers in the summer and has a tremendous blend of power and quickness. He has nice footwork, plays with passion and works hard on both ends of the court. He'll still need to work on his perimeter skills (both ballhandling and his outside shot).

"I want to try and get my ranking back up," White said. "I think it may have slipped a little bit because of my knee injury (early in the summer), but I want to get back into the top 5."

In addition to UNC, Indiana and Alabama, White said that he's also looking at Florida, Mississippi State and Auburn.


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