7-foot Center on the Panthers' radar

The University of Pittsburgh has been fortunate to have the services of massive 7-foot tall center Aaron Gray. He has developed into one of the top big men in the Big East. With a year of eligibility remaining, Head Coach Jamie Dixon has identified a potential replacement.

"Anthony is a 7-foot tall, athletic center that is starting to open some eyes," stated National Christian Academy Head Basketball Coach Trevor Brown. Coach Brown was referring to his blue-chip center prospect Anthony McClain. "He is around 235 pounds right now and he continues to mature physically. Anthony is a player that just improves every day and every game."

McClain was considered a raw prospect when he first started playing for his AAU team the D.C. Assault. He averaged 5 points and 6 rebounds a game as a sophomore. "He was growing into his body and gaining coordination. At that time he wasn't the best player," said Brown.

"He has improved quite a bit and he's currently averaging around 12 points, 12 rebounds and 8 blocked shots for us. Pitt, Georgetown, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Maryland are involved with him. It looks like Pitt and Georgetown are the two schools most after him at this time. Both have offered scholarships."

Does McClain have a favorite school at this time? "I believe its way too early in the process. I know some 2007 prospects have committed but Anthony needs to give it time," said Brown. "He had three All-Americans on his AAU team and didn't receive as much playing time as I expected. He's had much more playing time with our team and schools are starting to take notice of him. You can't teach size and he has it."

"Pitt has a great program and I know he's interested. I think Anthony would bring a lot to any basketball program. He has great hands, runs the floor well and he's developing into a shot blocker. Anthony is only going to get better.

Coach Brown believes that McClain may be slightly favoring Georgetown at this time, but he is far from making a final decision. Scout.com ranks Anthony a "four star" prospect and the 4th best center in the class of 2007. The University of Pittsburgh is still involved with 2006 center prospect Hamady N'diaye (6-foot-10 inches, 230 pounds) from Stoneridge Preparatory School in Tarzana, CA.

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com.

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