October 15, 2009

Wave haul in athletic power forward for 2010

Two years after struggling to keep up with the fast-paced rigors of Conference USA, coach Dave Dickerson and his staff are putting together a team which can not only run with, but run past the competition.

On Wednesday, the Green Wave basketball team received its second commitment for the 2010 class, bringing in athletic power forward Colton Christian from Hargrave Military Academy.

"Colton is a dynamic player on a lot of levels," Bellevue (WA) high school coach Chris O'Connor said. "He is a 40-minute guy who has a motor that never stops and when the rest of the guys on the floor are slowing down, he is only getting stronger. I think he is going to fit in perfectly in Conference USA."

A 6-foot-7, 200 pounder, Christian brings plenty of skill with his attitude, according to O'Connor.

Known for his consistent midrange jumper, athleticism and strength, Christian led Bellevue to unprecedented success as a high schooler, a third place finish in Washington's 3A division.

However, when his senior season ended, O'Connor and Christian decided his game wasn't yet the complete package it should be. With some improvement in his shooting, shot-creation and consistency, each felt his status would skyrocket.

After just a few months at Hargrave Military Academy, O'Connor said he's already seen the difference.

"He's really improved and it hasn't been that long," O'Connor said. "He needed to gain a little maturity in a day in, day out basis and I believe Hargrave has taught him that. On the court, he's also gained the ability to put the ball on the floor and make his own moves to the basket as well as refined an already strong mid-range jumper."

While Christian's size could allow him to play center in guard-heavy Conference USA, he is a natural power forward because of a proficiency at scoring from just outside the paint, rather than traditionally banging inside the low post for his points.

His addition, along with Philadelphia point guard product Rakeem Brookins and current freshman Terrance Beasley, boosts Tulane's quickness and ability to run at a breakneck pace for the next four years.

"He's great in the fast break," O'Connor said. "He's so athletic that he can get up the court with anybody. However, if it breaks down and he's lined up on the elbow, that's a shot he can make as well as any big man I've seen. That 15-to-17 foot jumper is a good range for a guy of his size and I think he will be a perfect fit at Tulane."

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