Indiana and North Carolina are both trying to get involved with 6-10 Darryl Watkins (right) of Paterson Catholic H.S. in Paterson, N.J., according to Cougar Head Coach Tommie Patterson.
In fact, North Carolina Asst. Coach Fred Quartlebaum came to a recent Paterson Catholic practice to eyeball Watkins, Patterson said.
"North Carolina sat through a practice and Coach Quartlebaum was amazed by what Mook [Watkins' nickname] was doing in practice, in terms of the drills we were running," Patterson said. "He was pretty excited."
According to our sources, the Tar Heels haven't yet offered Watkins, but will continue to watch him very seriously this winter after missing out on big men David Padgett [Kansas] and Brian Butch [Wisconsin] in the early signing period.
Watkins hasn't yet qualified academically, but he took the ACT in December, according to Patterson. He failed to attain a qualifying SAT score earlier.
Indiana has called regarding Watkins, but the Hoosier staff hasn't been in yet to watch him practice or play. Patterson said he spoke with an IU assistant coach in recent weeks, and it sounds like the Hoosiers could also be making a run at Watkins in the weeks and months to come.
Aside from those two schools, Watkins' list is littered with Big East programs. Patterson said that Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Villanova, Seton Hall and Syracuse have all tendered scholarship offers to Watkins.
After scoring 16 points and earning MVP honors on Monday night in a victory over Brooklyn's Lincoln H.S. at the Freedom Fighter Challenge, Watkins told Rivalshoops.com that he doesn't plan to take any visits until the end of the season.
"I am just looking at them all," he said. "I don't have a leader."
Rivalshoops.com will catch Watkins and Paterson Catholic in action several more times this winter, and we'll keep you posted on any new developments with the Garden State big man.