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Many kids try to deny that they pay attention to rankings. At the NBPA Top 100 Camp, five-star Isaiah Whitehead readily admitted he keeps an eye on them.
The talk of camp through the first three sessions, the 6-foot-4 combo guard from Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln has noticed that his stock has dropped with a few services. With that in mind, he hit the floor in Charlottesville aiming to show what he's all about.
"I'm just trying to move up in the rankings," Whitehead told Rivals.com. "I'm trying to prove to everybody that I'm a top 25 player."
A power scorer who can get buckets off the dribble, from deep and in transition, Whitehead is also an excellent passer. He's gotten to be a more consistent jump shooter, and he does a number of things well.
"I can get everybody involved, be a combo guard," Whitehead told Rivals.com. "Going into the season I'm going to work on my conditioning, my left hand a little more and pick-and-roll basketball."
On the recruiting front, Whitehead said a handful of schools have been pushing their way to the top of his list. He mentioned Syracuse, Louisville, UCLA, St. John's and Minnesota as particularly involved.
With the Cardinals and Gophers in the mix, it sets up a scenario where the father and son duo of Rick Pitino and Richard Pitino are competing for the same player.
"That's great," Whitehead said. "Richard sends me funny text message about his pops all the time. It's just great that they are battling to get me."
According to Whitehead, he'd like to make a decision before the beginning of his senior season. He said he is open to other programs stepping up their recruitment of him, but when it comes time to decide he'll be looking for most of the same things as other players out there.
"I think a family atmosphere, my style of play, great coach and education of course," he said.
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