November 17, 2011

Pollard visits Alabama, trims list

The early signing period for college basketball came and went this week, and the University of Alabama had nothing to show for it.

However, top target Devonta Pollard remains unsigned and has the Crimson Tide among his top schools.

Pollard, a five-star recruit out of Porterville, Miss., visited Tuscaloosa on Monday for Alabama's home game against Oakland.

"Everything went fine," Pollard said. "We didn't talk about too much. The (coaches) just asked me what I liked, what I thought they needed to improve on and if they made a good impression to me with the way they played and the way they hustled."

The UA coaching staff must have made a favorable impression on the 6-foot-7 star, who told various sources this week that Alabama made his top five. Pollard told that Alabama, Georgetown, Mississippi State, Missouri and Texas are among his top schools, but that he still has interest in Kentucky and North Carolina State as well.

"Those schools have a good program," Pollard said. "They (all) have a good coaching staff, who's not going to tell you what you want to hear. They're going to tell you what you need to hear to get you where you need to be. I also like their style of play."

Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant is quickly becoming one of the top recruiters in the SEC, and the work that he and his coaching staff have put in with Pollard is beginning to pay off.

"They've got good coaches on their staff," Pollard said of Alabama. "They tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear. When you're doing good, they let you know, but when you're not, they also let you know that.

"They're going to help you get to where you need to get or where you dream to be. With coach Grant and the rest of the coaching staff, you're going to be happy and successful even if everything doesn't go as planned."

Alabama's up-tempo style of play also appeals to the athletic wing forward who likes to run the court and press on defensive end.

"Their style of play suits me perfectly because they get up and down the court," Pollard said. "I love man (defense), and they play man-to-man defense and they press, and stuff like that keeps me going. Their style of play and my style of play are very similar."

With elite schools across the country recruiting him, Pollard indicated that distance would not be a factor in his recruitment. He's looking forward to watching two of his finalists play when Alabama hosts Georgetown next month at Coleman Coliseum.

"I can kill two birds with one stone, and I can see how both teams play," he said.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at [email protected]

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