There aren't a lot of basketball teams that can say they are undefeated this time of year at any level. Richard Semrau can. The 6-foot-9, 210-pound power forward from Lutheran West High School in Rocky River, Ohio has fought through injuries all season but that hasn't kept him from being the consummate double-double guy and one of the most sought after players in the country.
Semrau, the No. 28 ranked player in the class of 2006, has been the anchor for Lutheran West as they march into the playoffs with a 20-0 record. Not bad for a kid that has been some what distracted with things out of his control.
"I think I've been playing good this season even with everything going on," Semrau said.
Everything being the injury bug. He sprained his left knee, missing two games with that. Back for the busy Christmas season, he was on the floor just long enough to sprain his ankle, putting him out three games. But now that he's been able to have some consistency and the his relationship with the trainers has become distant, Semrau is getting back to tip-top shape.
"I'm shooting it really good right now," Semrau said.
Really good translates into really effective, too. The junior is putting in 64 percent of his shots from the field and 79 percent from the foul line, too. Semrau said he's averaging around 23 points and 14 rebounds this year.
"We've been used to it because we started the season ranked pretty high," Semrau said of his current No. 4 Ohio ranked team.
"That bull's eye is definitely there and it gets bigger as the weeks go by. I think a lot of (staying undefeated) depends on us working a lot harder. Our coach puts some pressure on us about that. If we want to win, we have to get used to that. Our big thing is rebounding. If we can do that, we'll be alright."
At the beginning of the year, Semrau unofficially visited Kentucky and Louisville in a quick trip to the Bluegrass State. Then it was off to North Carolina and Wake Forest.
Coaches have returned the favor and made their way to Ohio to take a look at the big man. Skip Prosser has stopped by. So has UNC assistant coach Joe Halladay. Bruce Weber of Illinois and Billy Donovan have been up for practices. So has Iowa's Steve Alford.
Semrau said Florida, Illinois and Wake Forest have offered scholarships. Kentucky and North Carolina have not at this point.
"Those are probably my top five right now," Semrau said. "I think I'll visit Wake Forest and North Carolina when we go down there for the Bob Gibbons tournament. And I think I'll if we lose early, I'll try to go back down to Kentucky again. I think it all helps me in a decision."
Don't expect a quick decision though. Semrau said the timing of the visits isn't an indication that he's ready to decide. The junior said that he will have a decision made by his senior season.
Semrau will be in action on Saturday as Lutheran West begins their tournament play.