On the eve of Athens (Ala.) High School power forward Richard Hendrix’s college announcement, Rivals.com national basketball experts took time to break down his basketball skill-set in addition to the impact of his decision.
Hendrix, 6-foot-8, 250 pounds, who is ranked the nation’s fifth-best prospect and No. 2 power forward by Rivals.com, is set to announce Tuesday between his longtime favorites Alabama and North Carolina.
What the experts are saying:
“To me, Richard Hendrix is the top low-post player in this class. For his high school team he plays the high post or even sometimes plays on the perimeter, his future in college or in the NBA will be as a four man.
"With the absence of true post players in the game today, especially on the high school level, this year he stands out as the best in his class.”
His impact in college
“Wherever he signs, he will be an instant impact player. He’s a big, strong, physical player who is also quick and agile. With the lack of post players in college, he will be able to play early.”
“Hendrix is cut from the old school cloth of true post player. He’s a guy who is going to get most of points within five feet of the basket. For a big man, he moves well and can step outside and knock down his jumper, which is an added bonus because it keeps the defense honest. As a rebounder, he uses his big body and strength to muscle around the goal and absorb physical play.”
“Hendrix final decision is big because he is perhaps the top unranked player who has not committed. He’s been stuck on Alabama and North Carolina for over three months, so it has been a tough decision for him. Both schools are good options for him, and he’ll play early and often at either.”
"Hendrix possesses as good a set of hands of any big man I have seen play. If he gets a hand on a rebound or pass, it is his. In the post, he has the ability to attack the rim or score over bigger players with a jump hook. Although not as big a threat on the perimeter, Hendrix does have a solid skill perimeter skill-base that will only improve. He can make the three-pointer when the defense backs off. He can also put it on the floor and hit the midrange pull up jumper. Not a great passer, but he is a good passer from the low and high post. His jumper and free throw have an extremely low trajectory, but they go in.”
“I had a chance to watch Hendrix every day at the USA Basketball Youth Festival in Colorado Springs and at the Nike All-America Camp in Indianapolis and believe that he is easily one of the five best center/and or power forward in the class of 2005.
“He plays with a relentless but under-control style, passes well out of the post or on the perimeter and gives you a legitimate effort on every defensive possession, too.”
If he chooses Alabama:
“I think he easily rates as the top recruiting coup for Mark Gottfried during his stint at Alabama.”
If he chooses North Carolina:
“Hendrix and Hansbrough will give the Tar Heels as solid a 1-2 post punch as has been recruited in one class in recent memory.”
“Hendrix is the most physically dominating power forward prospect in the class of 2005. He should be able to step into any college program and have an immediate impact on the glass and scoring in the paint. I’ve been watching Richard since the summer after his freshman year in high school, and he’s improved markedly with each passing year, developing from a rangy athlete to a pure power player, and finally into a fairly complete face-the-basket power forward.
"He reminds me a lot of past college players like Carlos Boozer, Corliss Williamson, Danny Fortson, and if he continues to improve, NBA great Karl Malone."
“He's not afraid of anyone and loves the battle with his team and one-on-one. The guy has proven that he has become one of the elite players in the nation over the last two years. He's also one of the best rebounders in the country and one of the hardest players to control on the blocks.
"I think we'll see the growing pains that every freshman goes through, but by the time he gets to conference play, he will be fully accomplished on the high major level. And that's a pretty special player.”
Be sure to stay tuned to Rivals.com, which will be providing live coverage of the Richard Hendrix press conference, which will take place Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (CST) at Athens (Ala.) High School.