One of the biggest stories in July was Spencer Hawes. The 6-foot-11, 225-pound center from Seattle (Wash.) Prep dominated the Peach Jam and shined even brighter in Las Vegas. He also trimmed his list to five contenders and coaches from each school shadowed the five-star prospect everywhere he went.
Hawes told Rivals.com that he has narrowed his list to Connecticut, North Carolina, Stanford, UCLA and Washington. Jim Calhoun, Roy Williams, Trent Johnson, Ben Howland and Lorenzo Romar were a constant sight at every Friends of Hoop game this summer. Even though he trimmed his list, the race for Hawes's services just got even tighter.
The Emerald City product said the five finalists all give him the opportunity to shine as a student and as an athlete.
"It came down to it and I talked to my family and my coaches and I just looked at the situations for me. What would be the best academically and development as a person and a basketball player," Hawes said. "On the basketball court, I feel like those programs give me a chance where could I use my strengths and get the most out of it.
"No knock against the programs that I didn't pick because they are great institutions and great programs. It varies with the person and what they wants and needs are and I thought the schools I picked were the right schools for me."
Hawes had to make the phone call to schools like Arizona, Duke and Kansas and told them that he was no longer considering their respective schools.
"It was really tough. I had to trim down some great schools," Hawes said. "It's one thing talking to my mom and dad saying I'm going to do it but when you call them and they start talking to you, it's a totally different game. It was real hard."
With a list of five, Hawes said he'll officially visit his options beginning at the end of the month. He's already unofficially visited Washington a couple of times. Hawes said the process is much simpler now.
"It makes it a lot easier. Now I can look at how am I going to be used in their program, playing time issues, how I would fit in, what other personnel will be there," Hawes said. "I can really narrow the scope to what I'm looking for now with the different schools."
Now each of those schools hope the scope lands on their program.