It was inevitable. Carmelo Anthony, 6-8 and perhaps the best offensive player in the class of 2002, was bound to be seen by NBA scouts on a good day. He was.
"There were a lot of scouts who saw him match up a little with Lebron James," Oak Hill head coach Steve Smith said. "But Carmelo has always said he wanted to play college basketball first."
Carmelo has indicated for most of this season that he plans on attending Syracuse University starting in the Fall. But the pressure of the mighty buck from the NBA is likely to make its way into Carmelo's life, especially if he plays well in some of the more elite All Star games (such as McDonald's).
At the recent Prime Time tournament in Trenton, New Jersey, it was reported by the New York Post that Carmelo Anthony, the outstanding 6-8 swingman from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, was thinking about the NBA.
This was contrary to what Anthony had told us earlier in the season and some recent statements by Oak Hill head coach Steve Smith. "Carmelo is not like Sagana (Diop)," Smith said. "Sagana said if he went in the first round he would go. Carmelo would probably only seriously consider it if he were in the top five."
Carmelo only increased the pressure on himself later this spring to make a decision between Syracuse and the NBA after having a tremendous game against Lebron James at the Prime Time Shootout. "Carmelo had 34 points and 15 rebounds," Smith said. "He blew by Lebron on his dribble. Lebron couldn't stop Carmelo's dribble."
And there were plenty of NBA scouts on hand who saw this battle. So what does this mean for Syracuse basketball fans? Well, hold your breath....
"Right now he is going to Syracuse," Smith said. "That hasn't changed. I don't think Carmelo would go unless he really knew if he was a top five pick. But how do you know if that will happen?"