July 10, 2006

McGhee still forming his short list

The state's leading rebounder (13.1 rpg in 06') took his act to the Nike All-American Camp this past weekend and continued to show steady improvement. Anderson Highland High School's Gary McGhee came into the summer AAU circuit looking to prove that he is not a player to be overlooked in Indiana's star-studded 2007 class. At times he has been overshadowed by the likes of Robbie Hummel, E'twaun Moore, and JaJuan Johnson, but lately his recruiting interest has really been picking up. With Johnson now off the board and committed to Purdue, McGhee has become the state's top available big man target and that has schools from around the country fighting to get atop his short list.

"Oklahoma State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Wake Forest are the schools that I am looking at the most right now," said McGhee. "They seem to be recruiting me the hardest and I am looking into each school right now."

Some fear that the Hoosiers may have entered the recruiting race too late for McGhee, something that hurt them in their recruitment of Johnson. However, McGhee's list of scholarship offers, which is now up to eight, didn't grow until more recently. The Hoosiers have been recruiting him since this past spring.

"Since the spring Indiana started to recruit me a lot and I started to get interested in the school," said McGhee. "They still send me stuff in the mail and I've talked to all the assistant coaches. I like their program."

Another positive for the Hoosiers is that McGhee has numerous ties to Indiana University. His father, Gary Sr., ran track at Indiana in the early 80's and also played against current Hoosier Assistant Coach Ray McCallum in his high school basketball days. McGhee's cousin, Aaron McGhee, played for Head Coach Kelvin Sampson at Oklahoma when the school made it's 2002 Final Four run, before bowing out to IU in the semis. All those ties and familiarity with the University made the McGhee's unofficial visit to Bloomington a big success earlier this month.

"I liked the Indiana campus a lot," said McGhee. "My visit went good and Coach Sampson is a nice guy, a good coach. I like their program a lot.

"I thought Coach Sampson's hiring was a good move for the program. He's a good coach. He took Oklahoma to the Final Four and I think he can have the same results at Indiana."

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