They just kept coming and coming and coming. Coaches from all over the East Coast came to Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga., on Tuesday evening to get a look at James Hickson, one of the top players from the class of 2007. The 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward is quickly becoming a guy that high-major programs are making a top priority in the junior class.
Because he has to sit out the first semester of the season, coaches are making sure they get into the gym now to see Hickson, the No. 20 ranked junior in the country, in action. A dozen coaches made their way to Georgia to see the big man in action at his new school. Hickson transferred to the 5A state champs after spending a year at Southwest Christian Academy with Javaris Crittenton.
South Carolina head coach Dave Odom and assistant Ken Potosnak were amongst the first to get to the gym on Tuesday night. Shortly after making an in-home visit with Jodie Meeks across Atlanta, Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried and his assistants Phillip Pearson and Eugene Harris came in to see Hickson.
Arizona assistant Miles Simon, Auburn assistants Brandon Johnson and John Cooper, Georgetown assistant Kevin Broadus, Georgia State's Kevin Cheeks, Florida State assistant Tony Sheals, South Florida assistant Greg Gary, UMass's Steve Middleton and UAB's Matthew Zimmerman were all watching Hickson closely.
The coaches just kept coming and coming. And they'll probably keep coming this month. Another open gym is in the works for next Thursday.
According to sources, Hickson is holding over 30 offers. The notables include Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgetown, Florida, Florida State, Michigan State, New Mexico State, Purdue, South Carolina, South Florida, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Schools like Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Syracuse and Virginia are all taking a close look, too. Even with all of the interest, the five-star prospect said he doesn't invest much time to the recruiting process.
"I'm not even looking at recruiting," Hickson said. "I'm getting better with everything first before I look at that.
"I still have to work on finishing and working hard on every play. I think I'll get better over here (at Wheeler). Playing team ball should help me because everyone here can score. It's about getting the ball to the person that can make the right shot. Playing unselfish ball is what it's all about."