Cully Payne Could Be Headed To Iowa

Cully Payne was going to head south to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide, but things changed dramatically in Tuscaloosa when Tide basketball coach Mark Gottfried resigned. Payne asked for and was granted his release, and he appears likely to stay in the Midwest. IllinoisHSPreps.com caught up with Payne and you can head inside to find out more on where he plans to verbal this Thursday.

Schaumburg's Cully Payne, ranked as the nation's 35th best point guard in the class of 2009, is a 6'0" PG who believes his game shares some common traits with Steve Nash, the NBA all-star guard.

"I know I'm not Steve Nash but I love to break down opposing defenses and find the other people and make my teammates better," Payne said. "A lot of coaches think that's what I do well."

Payne has been injured since Christmas break with a hairline fracture in his back.

"It feels really good right now," Payne acknowledged. "I've been doing physical therapy for the past few months. I just got back from the gym and working out and things are great."

So who will be the lucky team to get Payne?

"I visited Iowa last week, and I really, really like Coach Todd Lickliter and what he's trying to do up there." Payne said.

Payne also stated that Lickliter is planning on visiting his school on Thursday and also plans to meet with his family.

"If things work out on Thursday I'm going to verbal to Iowa," Payne said. "I just like what they have to offer me."

Payne also came to a conclusion that staying in Big Ten country offers intangibles that might not be found in Alabama.

"I was talking to my dad the other day and when people talk to me about going to Alabama they think SEC football and that's not what I want," Payne admitted. "When you think of the Big Ten you automatically think of basketball, so it's a better situation all around."


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