May 28, 2008

Howell keeps his recruiting options open

Richard Howell figured he'd be committed by now, but instead has over six schools still fighting for his services.

Howell was hoping to be done with recruiting going into the summer, but sometimes plans need to be altered.

"I really wanted to make my decision before the AAU season started," Howell said. "Right now, I just want to see who really wants me to come to their school."

Howell said Friday night at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions that two colleges have emerged, but as he's learned over the last few months, the recruiting landscape can change fast.

"Marquette and Oregon are really standing out to me, but I like everybody else," said Howell. "Those two are sticking out the most."

However, Marquette landed in-state native Jeronne Maymon on Tuesday, who is a similar player to Howell.

Auburn, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Tennessee have stayed in steady contact, with the Gamecocks making a strong push this last month. He has heard a little from Georgia Tech, but not from Georgia.

One-time favorite Michigan State hasn't contacted him in a while, but he believes his offer from the Spartans is still on the table. Howell is close friends with Michigan State freshman guard Chris Allen, a former teammate with Worldwide Renegades.

"Me and Chris are real tight," Howell said. "I have talked to him, but haven't talked to the coaches. It doesn't really frustrate me at all."

Howell hopes to follow in the same path of NC State freshman J.J. Hickson, who is also a product of Marietta Wheeler High and the Worldwide Renegades organization.

Howell transferred to Wheeler from Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett High, so he's never played with Hickson except for open gym workouts. NC State has recruited Howell in the past, but the contact has died down since Wheeler played Raleigh Word of God at Reynolds Coliseum on Jan. 26.

"J.J. wants me to come here [to NC State], and I talked to [NCSU] coach Sidney Lowe [in the past]," Howell said. "He talked to me after we got done playing here against Word of God."

Rivals.com has Howell ranked No. 73 overall and the No. 21 power forward in the country. Going into last high school season, the 6-foot-7, 215-pounder was ranked as the No. 12 small forward.

Howell, who suffered a back injury in early July, hopes to get fully healthy, and work on his jump shot and going left off the dribble. The conversion from small forward to power forward has also taken time.

"I'm probably about 75 or 80 percent right now," Howell said. "The good thing about it is that I'm going to work and my team is still winning. I'm rehabbing and trying to get back."

Howell and the Renegades Orange team bowed out of the TOC tournament a little earlier than hoped for, but he still left his mark. Howell was named to the all-tournament team, and finished 27th in scoring with 18.3 points per game.




 

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