July 14, 2011

Husker recruit Hield making teams take notice

The goal for Sunrise Christian (Kan.) Academy's Buddy Hield was to use this summer to both improve his game against top AAU competition and to get some good exposure in front of college coaches in the process.

So far, the three-star shooting guard has accomplished both of those goals and then some.

Playing for the Kansas Players this summer, Hield, who has already drawn 2012 offer from Nebraska, has been lighting it up on the AAU scene. As a result, his stock has skyrocketed in the eyes of college recruiters.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Hield dropped 32 points in a game at the NY2LA Sports Next Level Invitational in Milwaukee two weeks ago. Then last weekend he had an even more impressive showing at the adidas Inviational in Indianapolis, where he posted 35 points in an upset win over Dream Vision, led by Rivals.com's top-ranked overall player Shabazz Muhammad.

His impressive play over the weekend earned him his latest D-I scholarship offer from Oklahoma, who joined Nebraska as one of a number of schools who have taken notice of Hield's breakout summer. He also has official offers from Wichita State and Utah along with a verbal offer from Texas A&M.

Boston College, Clemson, Colorado, DePaul, Marquette, Utah State, and Missouri have all shown interest as well.

"I'm having a pretty good summer, but I'm going to keep working and building and building," Hield said. "I definitely think my game's come a long way, even since last summer. Hopefully I continue to improve over the next few years and get to a really high level."

Nebraska's coaches have been in close contact with Hield since offering him a scholarship back in April, and they certainly have taken notice of his play on the AAU circuit the past few weeks.

Hield spoke with Nebraska shortly after the adidas Invitational, and he said the Huskers are still very much in his consideration.

"I have a lot of interest in them, but I haven't narrowed it down," Hield said. "I'm just waiting to see how things go, you know? I want to see what scholarship offers I get."

Hield said he's been letting Sunrise Christian head coach Kyle Lindsted handle the majority of the contact with college coaches, but Lindsted has told him he's been getting calls from coaches almost daily inquiring about the rising star senior-to-be.

However, Hield said he doesn't plan on making any decisions or taking any official visits until the fall at the earliest.

"I'm going to take my time before I decide," Hield said. "The summer has been great so far. I've played in some good tournaments against some good teams. Once school starts back up, I'll start talking about all that with my coach."

As for Hield's style of play, Rivals.com basketball recruiting expert Eric Bossi has seen Hield in action on a few occasions, and it's been his natural scoring ability that has stood out the most.

"Buddy Hield doesn't exactly shoot a textbook jumper, but you don't want to leave him open for a look from deep because he will make it," Bossi wrote. "A deceptive athlete with some strength, he dribbles well enough to create space for shots."

A native of the Bahamas, Hield and his family moved to Kansas last August. Along with seeking a better education, Hield also saw the move as a chance to improve his game and potentially earn a college scholarship.

If he keeps playing the way he has this summer, that chance should become a reality in a matter of months.

"I think that's been happening," Hield said. "I've just got to keep bringing my A-game to the court and learning from my coaches. I've just got to keep improving my game."

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