Spencer Hawes Talks Recruiting

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Even though many of the top prospects in the Class of 2006 are committing fast and furious this summer, Seattle big man Spencer Hawes thinks it will be a while before he pulls the trigger on a college decision.

Hawes, who has established himself as one of the elite post prospects in 2006, said he is down to eight colleges this summer: Duke, North Carolina, UConn, Kansas, Arizona, UCLA, Stanford and Washington.

"I am not doing anything right now with it," Hawes said of the tidy list. "I've put myself in a good position to the point where I am not worrying about the offers I am getting."

Hawes said he has collected offers from six of the eight programs on his list, save Duke and Stanford. Blue Devil Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski has been spotted at several of Hawes' games this week, as have the head coaches from each of the other seven programs on his list. If Hawes completes his application to Stanford and is admitted by the Pac 10 school, there's a good chance he will pick up another offer there.

"I just want to continue to make improvements to my game, showcase my talent and help our team win," Hawes added.

Another goal of the 6-10, 220 pound center/power forward from Seattle Prep is to make the McDonald's All-American Game in San Diego next spring. Based on his play this spring and summer, Hawes appears to be a mortal lock to be selected.

Hawes gave his specific thoughts on each of the programs recruiting him:

On Duke and North Carolina: "The tradition, coaching and excellent players each have produced. Carolina has had a little more success in producing NBA players, but both have systems that would work well for me."

Kansas: "Basketball is the focus there. Bill Self has done a good job recruiting and building towards a national championship, plus I think there's an opportunity to contribute right away."

UConn: "I like what they do with their big men -- they develop them and put them in the league. They've been a top program in a tough league for the past 10 to 15 years, and they get a lot of exposure on the East Coast. Coach Calhoun has built a great program, and even though they came in a little bit later than some of the other programs, that's not an issue for me."

Arizona: "Coach Olson is a great coach and he has proven that over decades. Arizona is a contender in the Pac 10 and always working toward a national championship. I also like the way Channing Frye developed there, people had labeled him as soft but he improved every year and was just picked in the NBA Draft Lottery."

UCLA: "There's lots of tradition there, and if some of the guys from last year's recruiting class stick around, I would love to play with them. Especially a guy like Jordan Farmar. I also think I fit into their style of play."

Stanford: "Academics are a big thing that my parents have always stressed, especially to put myself in a position that I have something to fall back on. One of my former AAU teammates, Mitchell Johnson, is there and he would look out for me."

Washington: "I actually grew up as a big Washington football fan, so it's kind of funny now to see the basketball program up high now and the football program struggling. Coach Romar has got things started back up again to the point where they are one of the most competitive teams in the country. They can win the PAC 10 every year and everyone is now talking about the basketball program there, especially after they got the number one seed in the NCAA Tournament."

Following the Peach Jam, Hawes and his Friends of Hoop teammates will conclude the summer at the Main Event in Las Vegas. After that, he'll have plenty of free time to try and untangle the recruiting process.

Hawes has only taken a pair of unofficial visits thus far -- to nearby Washington and Notre Dame, though the Fighting Irish are no longer a consideration for him. He was slated to officially visit UCLA in early May, but the trip got canceled. He is planning on visiting there sometime in the fall, although there is no specific date yet.

"I am thinking about taking some unofficial visits in August when things slow down," he added. "We'll see how it works."


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