The top prospects are starting to emerge from the class of 2007 and Julian Vaughn is right there with the best of them. The 6-foot-8, 235-pound self described Euro-forward improved at each tournament he played in over the last five weeks. Now a host of programs have joined the race for his services.
Flanked by Michael Beasley and Nolan Smith, two five-star prospects from the class of 2007, Vaughn has shined with the DC Assault AAU program. Vaughn has played so well, in fact, he's proven that he's one of the top big men in the current sophomore class.
"I thought I did pretty good," Vaughn said of his play in the spring. "After playing with Mike, Nolan and Austin (Freeman) all month long I realized I can hang up there with them but people don't know me yet. That's alright. I thought I played really well though."
Vaughn has a huge body that resembles for North Carolina forward Sean May. The high schooler does a good job of using his size to fend off rebounders on the blocks but he's also not afraid to step out and knock home a three.
"I call my game European," Vaughn said. "I can shoot the three. I've always been able to shoot. That's my forte. I can bang inside, too."
One of the reasons why Vaughn has shined as an interior player can be traced to Beasley, Vaughn says.
"Playing with him has gotten me a lot better. He's one of my best friends. I've picked up a lot of things from him," Vaughn said. "His post game is really, really good. He scores when he wants to. If he misses, he makes sure he gets the rebound and puts it back in.
"He's really good moving without the ball and really good with the ball. He's crafty and always cool. Mike never panics. Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed when I'm doubled but watching him I'm staying more in control."
Being Beasley's blockmate has helped in recruiting, too. Vaughn said he's heard from Duke, Georgetown, Maryland, Miami, NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech over the last month.
Maryland and Miami have both offered, Vaughn said. NC State is trying to get the big man to unofficially visit after the Tournament of Champions on Memorial Day weekend. He will be in town with the DC Assault.
With his list loaded with ACC schools, Vaughn said he isn't ready to say he's going to be ACC bound.
"It doesn't matter to me really," Vaughn said. "I just want to play for a coach that will help me get better and a school that is going to be for me in the classroom."
Still with two years left of high school ball, recruiting isn't something high on his priority list right now. Instead, Vaughn is busy on the hardwood as he tries to prove he's amongst the best of the best in his class.
"One of my goals is to be in the top 30 to top 35 players in the country," he said. "A lot of people still don't really know who I am. I'm also trying to make an all-star team at the adidas camp."
He said he was recently invited to the NBA Players Association camp where he can test his game against 100 of the top players in the country.
Vaughn averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks per game for South Lakes (17-10) last year.
The rising junior said he led his region in rebounds and blocks last season. Next year, South Lakes returns 11 players and three starters.