July 8, 2013

Romancing the Stone

There is little doubt that Diamond Stone is tracking to be one of the truly elite big men in the class of 2015. He's 6-10, 245-pounds and a highly skilled post scorer, accomplished rebounder and defender in the painted area. He was a starter on the 16U USA team that recently took home the Gold medal in Uruguay.

And he's the 5th ranked player overall in the country, according to Rivals.com.

He spoke to TarHeelIllustrated.com about why he is so successful on the court.

"My post game is my strength," he said. "I think that it's really skilled. Right now I'm working on making my mid-range game as effective as my post game."

Stone, who is a well put-together rising junior, is working on increasing his explosiveness by toning his body up and getting in better shape. He's lost some weight over the past six months and the Milwaukee, Wisconsin center sees the benefits of his cardiovascular work.

"My weight loss is the biggest difference in my game," he said. "I've lost 23 pounds. I'm quicker and I can jump higher."

As one might imagine, he's getting recruited at a high level. Being recruited by the local high major programs in his region, such as Wisconsin, Marquette, Illinois and DePaul as well as elite blue-blood schools such as Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina.

Stone claims offers from all of the schools that are actively recruiting him, including the Tar Heels, Blue Devils and Wildcats.

"North Carolina told me that they're happy recruiting me and that I should just stay humble and keep working. They have told me that they want me to take a visit there soon," added Stone.

Despite being one of the top overall prospects in his class, the 6-10 center has only seen a handful of college campuses thus far. He's been to Wisconsin and Marquette in his home state and he's seen DePaul and Illinois in the state to the south.

His communications with Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina have been mostly casual conversations and some of them are with his father, who handles a lot of his recruitment.

As his recruitment evolves, the fundamentally sound post player has a few things to keep in mind as he develops relationships with these coaches and takes tours of the colleges in the coming year. He's looking for what matters most to him.

"I'm looking for a peaceful atmosphere with a good coach and the right teammates," he said. "That's the most important thing to me."

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