- Adam Finkelstein
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With the early signing period set to start in less than a week, here's a look at the top uncommitted centers.
Amir Williams (Birmingham, Mich./Detroit Country Day School)
Player rank: 39 | Position rank: 2 | Grade: 95 | Stars: 4
Height: 6-10 | Weight: 220 pounds | Evaluation
Why they want him: Williams is a hybrid post with the length, athleticism and quick bounce to make plays above the rim on both ends of the floor. He beats opposing bigs from rim to rim to score in transition, blocks shots from the weak side of the floor and rebounds on both ends. His offensive skills are also consistently evolving with an emerging low-post and face-up game.
Recruiting update: Williams recently trimmed his list to just five with Purdue, Ohio State, and Florida thought to be the favorites. He is in the midst of taking his visits now, having just returned from Purdue last weekend, traveling to Michigan this weekend and having a trip scheduled for Ohio State Nov. 12.
Adjehi Baru (Richmond, Va./The Steward School)
Player rank: 45 | Position rank: 5 | Grade: 95 | Stars: 4
Height: 6-9 | Weight: 225 pounds | Evaluation
Why they want him: Baru has a terrific motor and infectious energy level. He plays the game incredibly hard, sprints the length of the floor and has a great nose for the ball coming off the glass. He is also deceptively skilled for an energy guy, showing good patience with his back to the basket and being a very good passer for a big man.
Recruiting update: Baru cut his list to four in early October and has taken official visits to Charleston, Virginia Tech, Maryland and North Carolina in recent weeks. Conventional wisdom was that with those trips behind him Baru would be ready to make a decision by the early signing period, but that has become much less clear in recent weeks.
Desmond Hubert (Cream Ridge, N.J./New Egypt)
Player rank: NR | Position rank: 13 | Grade: 91 | Stars: 3
Height: 6-9 | Weight: 207 pounds | Evaluation
Why they want him: Hubert has the physical tools that cannot be taught with tremendous size, length, athleticism, agility, speed and lateral quickness. While he definitely needs to get stronger and develop his skills, he will be able to make an immediate impact on the defensive end next year and has undeniable upside thanks to his combination of size, mobility and athleticism.
Recruiting update: Hubert's list started at seven in September and was cut to five last month. He has since taken official visits to Wake Forest and Maryland with a trip to Princeton likely to go down this weekend. He's been tight lipped on whether he plans on taking the remainder of his visits or making up his mind in time for the early signing period, so both remain viable options at this point.
Matt Gorski (Richmond, Va./Cosby)
Player rank: NR | Position rank: 22 | Grade: 89 | Stars: 3
Height: 6-10 | Weight: 225 pounds | Evaluation
Why they want him: Gorski is a bit of a throwback in that he is a big man who wants to be a big man. He makes good use of his big body inside the paint, is a physical interior defender and has a solid offensive attack with his back to the basket. His body and game continue to improve with a recently expanded upper body as well as the development of a mid-range jumper.
Recruiting update: Gorski is likely to play the season out and wait until the spring before he signs. While his recruitment has progressed at a steady rate throughout the spring and summer, it's only likely to heat up more this winter as he could potentially be the highest rated center left on the market coming out of the early signing period.
Kevin Johnson (Woodland Hills, Calif./William Howard Taft)
Player rank: NR | Position rank: 25 | Grade: 89 | Stars: 3
Height: 6-9 | Weight: 225 pounds | Evaluation
Why they want him: Johnson is a powerful post player with broad shoulders and a strong frame. Offensively, he establishes deep post position, has soft hands and can consistently score over his left shoulder. He is a better suited on-ball post defender than shot blocker and does a nice job of going to the class diligently on both ends.
Recruiting update: Johnson's list once began with schools like Illinois, USC, and Arizona but now features San Diego State, UNLV, and UTEP. He will not be signing early according to sources close to the situation meaning this process still has a long way to go before reaching a conclusion.
Adam Finkelstein has been a coach or scout at the high school, college, and pro levels. He was an assistant coach in Division I by the age of 24 and also worked as a scout for Marty Blake, the NBA's director of scouting.