July 15, 2011

Peach Jam notebook

Hunt enjoys visit to UA
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. | Marcus Hunt has been busy the last two months with AAU and the various camps he attended last month, but the 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward found time to make a trip to Tuscaloosa recently.

"It's a nice campus with nice facilities," Hunt said. "I like the coaches, they're pretty cool. They just showed me around the classrooms, the gym, different things like that.
"(Anthony Grant) said he can make me a better player. He can develop me more as a player. He's like a father."

Hunt, a native of College Park, Ga., and member of the Georgia Stars, has been hearing from new schools all time lately, including the ACC, SEC, Big 12 and even Pac-10. He didn't list any favorites but plans on narrowing his list down next month.

Last month, the Rivals.com four-star attended the NBA Top 100 Camp, the Kevin Durant Skills Academy, the Nike Skills Academy and the Lebron Skills Academy.

"They were all great camps in my eyes," Hunt said. "They really helped. I learned new moves, different things I could do with the ball, without the ball. It really helped."

All of the work has paid off as Hunt now has college coaches, including UA's Grant, flocking to the gym when the Georgia Stars are playing. He said seeing the Crimson Tide staff at his games makes an impact on him.

"That shows a lot," Hunt said. "(Grant) and Coach (John) Brannen have been to a lot of my games, in the high school season and then the AAU season. They've been showing a lot of love. It shows a lot of respect, and that they really want me."

Hunt said he may take another trip to Alabama before he makes a final decision.

Poythress still wide open
Marcus Hunt's AAU teammate Alex Poythress also has a number of schools showing interest in him, including some of the top programs in the country.

Poythress, a 6-foot-8 forward from Clarksville, Tenn., mentioned Alabama, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, Ohio State and Vanderbilt as schools that are talking to him right now.

Even with some of the elite programs in college basketball on his list, the No. 38 player in the nation still likes the Crimson Tide program and head coach Anthony Grant.

"It's a pretty good program," Poythress said. "They're an up-and-coming program. Coach Grant's a great coach. He had a great season last, but just fell short. It was still a good year."

Poythress, who visited UA a couple years ago for an Elite camp, plans to take his visits after the summer and wants to make a decision before the early signing period in November.

He said player development, the coaching staff and finding the best fit were his main factors in recruiting.

UA recruiting 2013 big man
Alabama already has two commitments in the 2013 recruiting class, but that hasn't slowed down the Crimson Tide coaching staff from going after a number of other players to fill out the class.

One name that has been hearing a lot from UA recently is Baton Rouge, La., big man Brian Bridgewater.

At 6-foot-6, Bridgewater isn't the tallest guy in the paint, but he makes up for it with his size and strength. Playing for the Houston Hoops on the AAU circuit, he has seen his recruitment take off recently.

Bridgewater said he's hearing from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, LSU, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The Baton Rouge native may be tough to pull from LSU, especially since his brother played for the Tigers from 2001-2003.

Look for a recruiting notebook from the Peach State Showcase and a story on Shaquille Goodwin this weekend.

Goodwin and Memphis YOMCA play in the finals of the Peach Jam tonight at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

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