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2011 ORLANDO AAU NOTEBOOK (PART 8): DEVONTA POLLARD, TJ WARREN & BRANDON BOLDEN
By Alex Schwartz
WARREN SET FOR NORTH CAROLINA VISIT
Quite simply, T.J. Warren is a lethal scorer. One of the best players in the nation when it comes to putting the ball in the hole, Warren can hurt you in a number of ways. As a 6-foot-7 small forward, he has great height on the wing and with his thick build he can overpower defenders. Warren is a good enough athlete who is adept and navigating through traffic and finishing at the rim. He handles the ball well and is nearly impossible to stop from getting to the cup when he catches the ball on the wing. Warren has a nice mid-range game and can hit the pull-up or a floater. He can also connect on shots from beyond the arc, though he is inconsistent in that area. Warren is not overly quick and could slim down just a bit as well as improve on the defensive end.
Warren, a native of North Carolina who will attend Brewster Academy for his senior season, listed Georgetown, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Kansas, Kentucky and Louisville.
“That’s my top [group],” Warren said, noting that he has offers from all of them except UNC.
“No sir,” Warren said of whether he has any favorites “Everybody [is] equal right now.”
Warren said all of the schools he mentioned are coming at him equally hard. Thus far he has visited Georgetown and NC State and will be taking a trip to North Carolina on August 3rd.
Although Warren said he is expecting UNC to offer him during his visit, he said he will not commit on the stop to the Tar Heels. It seems he will be taking more visits before deciding, as he said, “I’m gonna get up to every school as the school year comes along.”
On when he plans to commit: “Probably during sometime towards Christmas probably.”
Asked how he decided to transfer to Brewster Academy (NH) for his senior year, Warren replied, “Just to get–it was the best opportunity for me, best situation. [It will] prepare me for college, get away for a little.”
ATHLETIC POLLARD DEFIES GRAVITY IN ORLANDO; RECRUIT ALSO SOARING
Devonta Pollard mentioned Mississippi State, Ole Miss, LSU, Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Texas, Duke, Georgetown (who was watching his every move over the final weekend) and North Carolina State. The 6-foot-8 small forward out of Kemper County (MS) High school said has offers from all of those schools as well as a number of others.
Pollard does not have any favorites at this point. Although many of the schools he listed are in the Southeast, Pollard said location will not be a factor for him.
“It’s all of them coming at me at about the same pace,” Pollard said of who is recruiting him the hardest. “It’s all the same.”
At this point Pollard has not visited any schools and said, “I plan on visiting all of them, but none are planned.”
Pollard said “probably late” on when he plans to commit and confirmed he is looking to sign in the spring.
On the court Pollard is about as athletic a player as you are going to find. In addition to his great size on the wing, Pollard has unreal leaping ability and seems to hang in the air for longer than should even be possible. A highlight reel dunker and terrific shot blocker, Pollard most certainly has skill to go along with his elite athleticism. He has a quality handle and actually runs the point a bit in AAU. Pollard makes dribbling through traffic and finishing at the cup look quite easy. He has a knack for finding the holes in a defense and getting to the basket. Pollard can hit shots from mid-range and beyond the arc, but does not shoot it much because he quite simply does not have to. If he shows he can consistently hit jumpers, there is no telling how good Pollard will be.
With Georgetown-commit Brandon Bolden, it is all about upside. The 6-foot-9 C/PF is still a work in progress and is quite raw at the offensive end, but he has all the tools to be a standout in the Big East. With a strong build and long arms as well as solid athleticism, Bolden has much of what you look for in young big men. His skill set is still developing, but he understands his limitations and focuses on things he is proficient at, such as rebounding the basketball. Bolden has good hands and is also a capable shot blocker. When he adds weight and gets coached up, he could be quite good for the Hoyas.