One of the biggest sleepers to emerge from the Real Deal on the Hill tournament in Arkansas last weekend was Kodi Augustus, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound small forward from Willowridge High School. Playing with the Houston Superstars, Augustus showed off his keen shooting touch and a world of potential in front of coaches from some of the best basketball schools in the country.
Augustus recently moved to Houston from Baton Rouge, La., and since then, the buzz has begun to grow into a much louder noise. His AAU coach John Eurey agrees.
"He played AAU last year but he didn't really play at any national tournaments. I thought he played really well in first major event. He handled it very well. I think he showed just how skilled he really is," Eurey said. "He shot the ball and any time you have a guy that's 6-8, 6-9 that can shoot like he does, you look a little longer and a lot of people want him. Kodi might just be the best shooter in the country."
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"I see myself as one of the top players out there. I don't see anybody stopping me really. I'm 6-8, 6-9 and I feel like I can shoot it with the best of them," Augustus said.
According to Eurey, Arizona, Duke, LSU, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas A&M and Wake Forest are all showing interest in Augustus.
"I know he can play at all of those schools," Eurey says. "There ain't 10 schools in the country that have a guy that's 6-9 shooter guy like Kodi."
Being a Baton Rouge native is pressure enough to attend LSU but get this. Seimone Augustus, the star of LSU's women's basketball team, is his second cousin. Taking it a step further, Augustus's father played at LSU, too. Following the bloodline is something the class of 2006 prospect has on his mind.
"I've been thinking a lot about that. They've sent me a lot of letters and of course I know a lot about them," Augustus said.
In one game at the tournament, Augustus started strong against five-star prospect Lance Thomas. Augustus came out with a bang, knocking home three three-pointers in a row. Foul trouble derailed his quick start but Augustus earned the respect of Thomas.
"He's pretty good. After the game, we shook hands and i told him he was good and he told me I was good," Augustus said. "It was a good match-up."
Playing at Willowridge on Monday night, Augustus earned high praise from a name familiar in the college basketball world. Former Duke and Willowridge star Daniel Ewing had a chance to play with the big wing.
"Kodi and Daniel Ewing were playing each other (on Monday night) and Kodi matched him bucket for bucket," Eurey said. "Daniel was amazed by him."
Ewing was also able to give the young prospect some advice on the recruiting process.
"He was telling me to wait it out and get my school books in line first. That's very important," Augustus said. "He told me about Duke a lot, too. We talked a lot about their program and he told me that I need to get my grades right if I wanted to go there. But most of all, he just told me to be patient."
Patience is important with college coaches, too. They'll have a chance to watch him even more this weekend at the Kingwood Classic. Rivals.com will be on hand to cover the event from start to finish.