Size (6-8) and heart
Sophomore Ferriss has Lady Vols on top of list
Originally posted on www.knoxnews.comFriday, July 27, 2007
Written by: Mike Blackerby
Gary Van Atta has seen a lot of prospects come and go during his long tenure as a high school and college basketball coach in Tennessee.
But,Van Atta said he has never laid eyes on a talent like Kayci Ferriss.
Only 15 years of age, the 6-foot-8- thats right, 6-8- Ferriss is a rising sophomore at Class AA Smith County High School in Carthage.
Ferriss posted eye-popping numbers her freshman seasib: 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots per game.
Van Atta and Ferriss are in Knoxville this week to compete in the AAU Junior Olympics 16-under basketball tournament.
Their team- the TN Elite Navy - opens play in the tournament at 2:30 this afternoon at Alcoa Middle School.
Van Atta, who coached Gallatin to the 1997 state championship and is the womens coach at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, said Ferriss is a once-in-a-generation player.
The sky is the limit for Kayci, said Van Atta.
She can do whatever she wants to do. Everybody talks about her size, but its what she has here that counts, said Van Atta, pointing to his heart.
Ferriss not ony has the desire, but uncanny physical skills for a player of her stature.
For her age, she has above-average strength and runs the floor well.
And then, theres Ferriss basketball acumen.
Kayci is very sound fundamentally. She's a really good free-throw shooter and she has a soft touch around the basket- she can use either hand. I've never seen another one who can do the combination of things she does. She just has all the tools.
Obviously, Ferriss already has drawn lots of attention from colleges.
Kansas, Ole Miss, Georgia, Tennessee, Duke and Vandy, said the soft-spoken Ferris, ticking off the names of some of the many schools already courting her services.
I've always liked (UT coach) Pat Summitts game, said Ferriss, who put Tennessee right at the top of her list as of right now.
But first things first.
Ferriss indicated she has lots of room for improvement the next three seasons before making her college choice.
I've got to get stronger in my upper body and I've been working a lot on my ball handling, said Ferriss, who shockingly admitted she even brought the ball up the court on a couple of occasions last season.
But mostly, Ferriss said she figures to be back in the post this season, facing her usual diet of doublt and triple teams inside.
Occasionaly, Ferriss said an opponent would play her straight-up in the paint.
What happened was predictable.
I dominated, deadpanned Ferriss.
Double Trouble: As Ferriss wont provide opponents with enough trouble inside during AAU play, Webb School standout Glory Johnson also is a member of the team. The rising senior is conisdering offers from North Carolina and UT.
We've taken the best of the best from across the start for this team, said Van Atta. This is the first time we've all been together. We're making this like an all-start team for the Junior Olympics.