Heels Increasing Interest in Prather

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. --- Two of North Carolina's top wing targets faced off Saturday night in a playoff game at the Real Deal in the Rock. Standing on one side was Harrison Barnes of the All-Iowa Attack and on the other was Casey Prather of the Nashville Celtics.

Things got off to a rough start for the 6-foot-5 Prather as Barnes torched him and everybody else on the Celtics during the first half and All-Iowa built a lead. Regrouping during the second half, Prather worked his way to the free throw line, turned up the defense a bit and helped his team dominate the glass while securing the victory.

"My knee was hurting a little bit at first but I had to suck it up and play," Prather said. "I think a game like that gives me a real challenge and makes me want to play harder."

While one of his coaches suggested that Prather didn't know who he was matching up against, the athletic wing said he was well aware of his matchup with Barnes and that he was looking forward to it prior to tip-off.

"Of course I know who I'm playing against out there," said Prather. "I've just got to go out there and compete, not be scared of anybody."

Known for his athleticism, Prather is a lean and wiry strong wing that loves to attack the rim. He rebounds his position well, will play defense and doesn't back down when things aren't going his way. His jumper and ball handling are works in progress and he's a kid who seems to have a pretty good handle on his strengths and weaknesses.

"I bring energy, defense, boards - whatever my team needs me to win," Prather said. "I could maybe work on my consistency a little bit. Mostly my outside shooting. It's come a long way but I've got to make sure it's there every game."

With schools like Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi, Michigan, Wake Forest and Miami chasing, Prather isn't lacking for any interest. Among the other schools becoming more involved is North Carolina.

Prather did receive a visit about a week ago from Roy Williams, after two different UNC assistants scouted him during the winter.

"He came out and told me that he'd heard I was a good player and that people were impressed with me," said Prather of Williams' visit. "He just wanted to see me and get to know me."

While things are still in the preliminary stages with Carolina, Prather feels that the Tar Heels have more interest than he initially thought.

"They started recruiting me earlier but then backed off a bit," Prather said. "Now they are picking it back up."

In no rush to make any sort of decision, Prather says that he's yet to set any kind of date for even setting a concrete school list. An avid watcher of college basketball, the things that he watches for on television will ultimately play a big role in choosing a school.

"I'm watching for tempo," said Prather. "I'm looking at coaching ability. You can tell by the way that coaches develop their players from the previous season. You can see by their play. I also like the history of schools."

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