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April 23, 2005

Quiet opener at Kingwood Classic

The Kingwood Classic began on Friday night with games being played across the city of Houston. It was a quiet night with most of the top teams beginning play tomorrow but some of the nation's top prospects got off to a good start in the opening round.

Opening night observations

Scoring point guard Will Walker carried the load for the Illinois Wolves in their win over Gateway Basketball Club. Walker has a nice blend of speed and strength, which combined with his smooth stroke from the perimeter, makes him very difficult to defend. The one thing Walker did not do was attack the rim. He scored 35 points, on 9 of 11 shooting from behind the arc, but never shot a free throw.

Walker, 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, has offers from Miami, Ohio State, North Carolina State, and Baylor. California, Illinois, and Georgia Tech are also on his list, with Georgia Tech being his early favorite.

Teammate Devan Bawinkle struggled from the three-point line but he did find his range from inside the arc where he shot the ball well off the dribble. Bawinkle, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, finished with 12 points. In addition the Illinois native played a strong defensive game excelling at guarding his opponents top outside threat. Georgetown and DePaul have offered Bawinkle, and he also likes Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, North Carolina State and Miami.

Kevin Coble of the Arizona Stars is developing nicely as a player. The 6-foot-8, 185-pound combo forward has improved his ability to guard on the perimeter. Despite his need to get stronger, Coble has a complete range of offensive skills. He can hit the three as well as put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. Strong hands and good instincts made his a force on the defensive boards and he has a chance to earn a high major small forward once he finishes growing.

Northwestern was the first on the board with an offer but UConn, Kansas, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Arizona and Washington State are showing strong interest and are among his favorites.

Chicago big man's stock on the rise

Proviso East High School center Brian Carlwell has seen his stock rise in recent months and the 6-foot-10, 250-pound big men now boasts offers from Illinois, Virginia and Florida State with more likely on the way.

"I like the three schools have offered and also Michigan State," Carlwell said. "Coach (Dave) Leito has been recruiting me hard since he became the head coach at Virginia. Before he was there I didn't hear much from them."

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