Just when you thought the 2003 class recruiting waters had gone still, a surprise senior visitor took an official visit to Stanford this past weekend. 6'10" 225-pound big man Greg Killings from Northwestern High School in Miami, Florida came to town to check out the Cardinal Friday and Saturday. Killings is a very legit big body, who looks the part of a college post player right now, and has a frame that will fill out into something even more impressive down the road. But as with most seniors who remain unsigned at this late date, there is something missing. Though Killings averages 12 points, 10 boards and four blocks per game as a leader of his 12-5 Northwestern team, he shows flashes of talent intertwined between stretches of silence and inconsistency. The physical attributes are there, but college coaches at Stanford and elsewhere are unsure of just how he will project as a player at the Division I level.
Killings tells The Bootleg that the Cardinal coaches have been recruiting him since the summer, though they have yet to make a firm offer to him for a scholarship to attend Stanford. Other schools actively involved with him at this time include Rice, UNC-Asheville, Florida A&M and Florida International, according to Killings. To be frank, that is not an inspiring list for the quality of big men that Stanford is has made a name with over the past 15 years.
Recapping just where Stanford stands today on recruiting and scholarships - two players have already signed letters of intent to play on scholarship in this coming fall class in Tim Morris and Fred Washington. But the Card have three openings to fill, replacing those vacated last spring by the NBA jumps of Casey Jacobsen and Curtis Borchardt, as well as this spring's coming graduation of senior point guard Julius Barnes. Next year, three more players will graduate in Matt Lottich, Justin Davis and Joe Kirchofer. The Cardinal staff can either offer a third scholarship in this 2003 class, or hold it as a fourth ride in the 2004 class. The added layer of complexity is that three of those vacancies were manned by post players, which means that three of these four spots need to be filled by big bodies. If you pass on someone like Greg Killings, you are pinning your chances on a third big man in the 2004 class who will be better than what you have in hand in Killings today.
When you consider that Stanford struck out, either through decision or admissions denials, on every post player recruit they wanted this past summer, it gives great pause to the arrogant idea that the Card can land three high quality big men in the next class. On the other hand, Stanford is doing very well with some talented forwards and centers in the junior (2004) class, like Davis Nwankwo, Rob Kurz, Peter Prowitt, Robert Rothbart and Kevin Langford. It's a tough decision for sure, and that is why Stanford has taken so long to evaluate Killings as a player and a future prospect. In addition to watching his games in AAU action this past summer, they have made trips this fall and winter to watch him play in Florida and abroad. As time passes, they also get a little better handle on just what they might have within their reach in this junior class.
For his part, Killing says that he is high on the Cardinal and enjoyed what he saw during the weekend. "Stanford is my number one school right now," he says. "But I wanted to see the environment and campus - the students and professors. I got to take a campus tour, and met one-on-one with a professor. I also had the chance to watch some practice, and this team is very structured. They work hard in practice."
Academically, the Miami senior carries a weighted 5.2 GPA, which he says comes down to an unweighted 3.95 on a four-point scale without honors and AP points. He has also scored 1140 on his SAT, which he might take again in March. Currently, he ranks third in his high school class of 466 and sent in his completed admissions application two months ago.
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