Nelson has a leader

Finally done with the AAU tournament season, it's now time for Keizer (Ore.) McNary G/F Phil Nelson, one of the elite wings in the 2006 class, to get down to business in regards to recruiting. was able to catch-up with Nelson recently and he updated us on how his recruiting is going and what his plans are this fall.

"(The AAU circuit) was good this year," Nelson said. "One of the biggest memories was the Elite 8 in the Big Time Tournament. We played real good as a team. It was the funnest tournament I have ever played in.

"We played well the whole tournament and just found ways to win every game except the last one. It was really good team ball and it wasn't about one-on-one all the time."

Nelson played very well this summer, averaging 22 points and nine rebounds. He's also added some weight to his frame, bulking up to a sturdy 205 pounds. "I'm 6-8 right now, but I haven't grown since I was a freshman, so I think I might be done," Nelson said with a chuckle. "I will fill out some more, but I think I'm done growing."

Scouts and coaches love Nelson's game a lot. He can play any one of the positions from one through four, but he's being recruited by most schools as a shooting guard or a small forward. "I like to say I play like Kevin Garnett," Nelson said, comparing himself to the NBA All-Star. "Let's just say I play like him sometimes. I can shoot well. I'm pretty gifted at that and I like to work on my shooting the most.

"I don't mind getting physical down low, but my game is on the outside."

Recruiting has really been heating up for Nelson as some people have finally gotten his cell phone number. "I didn't think there would be so many phone calls," a bewildered Nelson said. "Once your cell phone gets out there you get calls all the time from the media and the coaches, but it's cool."

Nelson has set up three visits so far and may set up two more if he doesn't feel ready to commit to the three he is going to visit. He will visit Gonzaga on September 9th, Georgia Tech on September 16th and Washington the following weekend (9/23).

"Washington is in the lead right now, but I still want to see what's up with those other schools," Nelson said. "I have family in the Seattle area. I was actually up there (in early August) for a wedding. I'm pretty familiar with the place.

"I talk to coach (Lorenzo) Romar quite a bit. We talk about school and I've worked on my grades, so we've had that talk. We talk about (Washington's) academics, the players and the coaches. He told me I will fit in at the two or three if I go there.

"He said if I work at it, I can play my freshman year. He said I have a chance to earn time there, if I work hard. I can do that."

So is a commitment to a school coming soon? "(A decision) could come after one of the visits or later, I'm not really sure yet," Nelson said. "I should know more at the end of September."

Nelson said he may schedule visits to Oklahoma State, Texas or USC if he isn't able to make a decision following his visits.

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