Coach Sizes Up Papapetrou

Melbourne (Fla.) Florida Air Academy head coach Aubin Goporo took time to size up recent Texas commitment Ioannis Papapetrou this week.

Goporo said that Ioannis Papapetrou had a pretty straightforward recruiting process.

"He had five schools on his list, and he cut it down to two," Goporo said. "He was (torn) between Kansas and Texas. You can't go to both schools, so he picked one, and it was Texas.

"Everything was pretty much the same (between the two schools)," Goporo said. "But he told me personally that his dream school was Kansas. Then he fell in love with Texas (on his visit)."

Goporo said that Papapetrou didn't fit the typical "European player" stereotype.

"This is a kid that is physical and strong," Goporo said. "He plays outside and really understands the game. He has a very high IQ. For a 6-foot-8 guy, he can really pass, shoot and dribble. He can do a lot of things.

"I knew he was a special player from Day One," Goporo said. "It was just a matter of his getting adapted to the American style of play, changing his thinking and his physique. That was really it."

Goporo said Papapetrou has done both of those. He's added 25-30 pounds since coming to the states, getting his weight up to a respectable 225 pounds. And Goporo said he was still growing. Papapetrou will be 17-years old by the time he graduates, and he wears a size-17 shoe.

"No. 1, I see him as just a basketball player," Goporo said. "I don't see him as a one, a two or a three. Depending on your style of game, the kid can play the point. He can play the two. He can do the three. He can adjust to whatever you're running your offense to do.

"Really, the biggest challenge was to make him a selfish player," Goporo said. "He's always looking to run plays, run pick-and-roll and set screens. He's just a team guy. I want him to be more selfish, but not in a bad way."

Goporo said Papapetrou's unselfishness wasn't the reason he didn't play much AAU ball, however. Instead, it was a difference in opinion on Papapetrou's position.

"He was playing AAU before, and he was excited to keep doing it," Goporo said. "The resin he stopped is that he went to practice and they said he's 6-8 and strong, go play inside. He's not an inside player. So he stopped playing AAU and decided to work to continue to grow his physique."

Goporo said that Papapetrou was also different than the average teenager in terms of his personality.

"He's a good kid who gets along with everybody. He has a personality," Goporo said. "He's not your typical kid (who says): 'hey, how you doing', 'good', 'what do you want to eat', 'I don't know', 'do you want to go to a movie', 'whatever'. He's easy to get along with. He can hold conversations, and he makes jokes."

Goporo said that he enjoyed coaching Papapetrou.

"Texas is getting a great player, a great kid and a great student."

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