Sleeper big man could round out '10 BKB class

Mat Piotrowski, a 2009 graduate of New Jersey's Atlantic Christian High School, is currently taking a year at in-state Lawrenceville Prep to be better physically prepared for NCAA ball. The move appears to be working out, as Piotrowski and the Cardinal have mutual interest. Read on for more on the big man. (Did we mention he's 7-foot-1?)

Mat Piotrowski (PET-trov-sky) visited Stanford Halloween weekend and shared the details in an exclusive interview with this past week. He's a two-star center to and unranked by Rivals. Here are his stats for his senior year of high school – he averaged 14 points, 9.4 rebounds and 6.4 blocks per game on 59 percent overall and 70 percent free-throw shooting, per

On his visit:

"It was great. I felt really comfortable and got to hang out with the guys. The first two days, I just went around meeting with academic advisors. I met with an Economics professor [Roger Noll, Piotrowski believes] and it was great talking to him. I saw classes. It was great how at practice they kept the same things, the same focus, the same practice style. There wasn't too much rest time, and when they stopped to explain something, they wouldn't stop for 15 minutes, but ten to 30 seconds and kept going. They really emphasized communication throughout, which I thought was very, very good. It really translates well onto the court, so getting practice communicating like that is a good thing.

"Then we met with all the coaches. I talked to Coach Davey. I'm real confident he's one of the best big-man coaches there is, and it would be great to have him to learn under. Coach Dawkins talked to me about offense and I think I'd fit in real well there. They're running two bigs and both are kind of interchangeable. I like to roam around the three-point range and he said that would fit in perfectly fine, so I was pleased to hear that. [Piotrowski shot 31 percent deep his senior year.] What I understand from Coach Dawkins is that they're planning to run two big guys and it's not like there's one center who is always down first. Usually, the first guy to rebound is up top and the other guy sprints down low. I like to think of myself as a great shooter, so being able to be at the three-point line will give me the ability to mix it up. I like to move around.

"Other than that, I spend time with the players, who are great guys. I've been in other situations where maybe the players were not all the nicest, but there, they were all nice all-around."

On his game:

"I'm a great defensive player. I think I led New Jersey with seven blocks per game. I think I'm more of a finesse than a power guy, like a European big man. My favorite player is Dirk Nowitzki, and I like to say my style is like his. I think I have a great three-point shot for my size and the coaches agreed on that. I'm 7-1, 260 barefoot.

"Right now, my strength needs more work as does my quickness, which comes with core strength. I'm working on that here at school, so I hope by my time at college, I should be prepared."

On his recruitment:

"My high school was a small, Christian school and our league wasn't that strong. We played a lot of public schools. … Stanford was the first to start recruiting me. They came sophomore year. Trent Johnson was first person I met from Stanford. He came down to see me work out. Then, with the coaching change, things chilled out, but they popped back on the scene last year. They said they were just getting the recruiting process together, so I waited until the spring. I had no solid offers on the table and so I decided to take a prep year and see how things went. They came on stronger, so I'm pretty happy with it. I have some interest from mid-majors, but right now, I'm putting that on hold to see from Stanford. Right now, I'm waiting on admissions I believe. [Piotrowski reports a 3.8 GPA and 1750 SAT.]

"A lot of Ivies want me really bad. I just worked out for Lafayette and am just waiting to see on Stanford or Georgia Tech. For high majors, it's Stanford and Georgia Tech showing interest. I'm waiting on the Georgia Tech head coach, he's waiting to see me, to get me on an official before things go too far with Stanford. … I haven't found AAU tournaments and everything, and none of the big-time programs really know about me, but then they come and see me work out, and then there's scrambling, ‘Whoa, we've never seen this kid before.'

"Stanford's coaches said they won't offer until I'm accepted, which makes total sense. How can you have an offer from a school and not be accepted? So that's where we are."

On his college search:

"I'm looking for a school with academics and one where I can fit in basketball-wise as well, one that can get me to the next level. … This season, I know Stanford is in the building stage, so [a poor record] wouldn't affect me that much. Coach Dawkins talks about trying to make this [2010] recruiting class like his class for Coach K at Duke -- hopefully a breakout class. I'm excited to be a prospective part of it."

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