He's one of the top remaining talents on the board left in the Class of 2004, so there's little doubt that 6-11, 230 pound center Darryl Watkins will command quite a bit of recruiting attention this winter and into the spring signing period.
Rivalshoops.com spoke with Paterson (NJ)Catholic Head Coach Tommie Patterson as well as Watkins this past weekend at the Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic, and both shed further insight on where the situation stands in late December.
Watkins listed Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Villanova and Kentucky after scoring 28 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking four shots in a 74-69 victory over parochial rival Bergen Catholic H.S.
Coach Patterson told Rivalshoops.com that Memphis inquired about Watkins after watching him play on Saturday. Tiger Head Coach John Calipari and Asst. Coach Tony Barbee were at the Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic on Saturday night watching Memphis fall signee Sean Banks play for Bergen Catholic.
Patterson said that he thinks Watkins will stay close to home for college, because he is very tight with his family.
There was a lot of speculation that Watkins would officially visit Kentucky in the fall, but that never happened. Instead, just after the end of the fall signing period, he flew to Pittsburgh for an official visit, where he took in the Panthers' home game against Duquesne.
Watkins has quite a bit of potential. In Saturday's win over Bergen Catholic, he was very active on both ends of the court.
In one sequence, he blocked a shot on the defensive end, ran down the floor swiftly and finished on the end of the offensive break. To be sure, he has quite a package of mobility and athleticism housed in a 6-11 frame.
However, Watkins' play during the spring and summer with the Tim Thomas Playaz at times left a lot to be desired. Clearly, when he comes to play and is into the game, he can be the best player on the floor.
Rivalshoops.com will have the opportunity to watch Watkins several times in action this winter, including at this week's Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament in Delaware, so keep it here for the top coverage of recruiting on the internet for the 2003 class and beyond.