Buford Adjusts To Spotlight

Toledo Libby standout William Buford might not be a household name yet in basketball recruiting circles, but that time may soon come. Buford was among the many talented players at this weekend's King James Shooting Stars Classic, and he left a good impression with onlookers, including the college coaches in attendance.

After throwing down an alley-oop from a teammate, William Buford stopped and gazed into the front row of the stands. He gave a big boyish grin to the group of coaches that included Ohio State head coach Thad Matta who were watching him play.

Suddenly, the 6-5 sophomore wing from Toledo Libbey was a marked man.

But when the game ended, Buford's attention was turned to the massive group of reporters bearing down on him. Instead of a boyish grin, he became wide-eyed and nervous.

This was the first big time event Buford has taken center stage and had to deal with the attention from coaches and reporters both. He passed his first test.

"I try to put them out of my mind," Buford said. "I don't want to look at them (the coaches)."

One reporter asked if it was because they were just simply too ugly to look at.

Buford confirmed that wasn't a problem, at least we think.

"I see them," he added, "but I don't want to just look at them."

It might be too late.

Buford will have to work on his poker face, because it was hard to miss those big smiles in the direction of the interested coaches.

Playing this weekend for the D-I Greyhound 16-under team, who finished runner-up in the King James Shooting Stars Classic, Buford was running the floor, dunking, making steals and playing effortlessly.

For most of the tournament, he and his teammates made it look easy. They were throwing lobs to one another and finding easy baskets.

"We know what to expect from each other," Buford explained.

But no matter how well his teammates play, it's Buford coaches were there to see. He has already drawn major interest from Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State among numerous others.

Buford, who has already been to games at Ohio State and Michigan State this past season, will have a lot of focus in the 2008 class on him the next couple of seasons.

The shy, unassuming sophomore seemed to quickly compose himself after the initial reporter onslaught and proclaimed he was ready for that role – another sign things will come easy for Buford.

"It motivates me," he admitted. "It's not a lot of pressure, but I've just got to live up to it and play how I play and get better."

Along with playing better comes the appearance of more coaches in the stands for Buford to look at or not look at.

It's Buford's job not to think about who those coaches might be.

"He doesn't know that," interjected Keith McClure, an assistant that will handle Buford's recruitment. "It's his job to just go out and play hard any time."

McClure knows what Buford is in for. It's for that reason he doesn't subject Buford to the recruiting process any more than he has to.

He says that Buford will just continue to follow the process and they will try to continue blocking the other stuff out of his mind.

"He just needs to continue to get better," McClure added.

As Buford continues to get better, maybe those coaches won't see him peeking at them next time.

Whether he sees them or not, make no mistake, they will be seeing plenty of him.

 




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After throwing down an alley-oop from a teammate, William Buford stopped and gazed into the front row of the stands. He gave a big boyish grin to the group of coaches that included Ohio State head coach Thad Matta who were watching him play.

Suddenly, the 6-5 sophomore wing from Toledo Libbey was a marked man.

But when the game ended, Buford's attention was turned to the massive group of reporters bearing down on him. Instead of a boyish grin, he became wide-eyed and nervous.

This was the first big time event Buford has taken center stage and had to deal with the attention from coaches and reporters both. He passed his first test.

\"I try to put them out of my mind,\" Buford said. \"I don't want to look at them (the coaches).\"

One reporter asked if it was because they were just simply too ugly to look at.

Buford confirmed that wasn't a problem, at least we think.

\"I see them,\" he added, \"but I don't want to just look at them.\"

It might be too late.

Buford will have to work on his poker face, because it was hard to miss those big smiles in the direction of the interested coaches.

Playing this weekend for the D-I Greyhound 16-under team, who finished runner-up in the King James Shooting Stars Classic, Buford was running the floor, dunking, making steals and playing effortlessly.

For most of the tournament, he and his teammates made it look easy. They were throwing lobs to one another and finding easy baskets.

\"We know what to expect from each other,\" Buford explained.

But no matter how well his teammates play, it's Buford coaches were there to see. He has already drawn major interest from Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State among numerous others.

Buford, who has already been to games at Ohio State and Michigan State this past season, will have a lot of focus in the 2008 class on him the next couple of seasons.

The shy, unassuming sophomore seemed to quickly compose himself after the initial reporter onslaught and proclaimed he was ready for that role – another sign things will come easy for Buford.

\"It motivates me,\" he admitted. \"It's not a lot of pressure, but I've just got to live up to it and play how I play and get better.\"

Along with playing better comes the appearance of more coaches in the stands for Buford to look at or not look at.

It's Buford's job not to think about who those coaches might be.

\"He doesn't know that,\" interjected Keith McClure, an assistant that will handle Buford's recruitment. \"It's his job to just go out and play hard any time.\"

McClure knows what Buford is in for. It's for that reason he doesn't subject Buford to the recruiting process any more than he has to.

He says that Buford will just continue to follow the process and they will try to continue blocking the other stuff out of his mind.

\"He just needs to continue to get better,\" McClure added.

As Buford continues to get better, maybe those coaches won't see him peeking at them next time.

Whether he sees them or not, make no mistake, they will be seeing plenty of him.

 



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