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February 22, 2006Kosta Koufos went from one of the most productive players in the country to one of the best cheerleaders around thanks to a minor fracture in his foot.
That hasn't kept some of the nation's best programs away though.
The offers are rolling in for Koufos, a 7-foot-1, 245-pound forward from Glen Oak High School in Canton, Ohio. The No. 10 overall ranked player in the class of 2007 said he is holding offers from Florida, Louisville, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Wake Forest and UNLV amongst others.
The big man has been out to see some games this year as well, making a stop at Louisville when the Cardinals played Akron. Michigan will host him for the Indiana game. Most recently he stopped by Maryland to see the Terps host Duke. This Saturday, he will be on hand for the Michigan-Ohio State game in Columbus.
"I'm open still," Koufos said. "I am too young to make a decision. But when you break it down, it is still the same colleges that are recruiting me. It's a blessing to have them all there."
As big of a blessing it is having some of the nation's top programs involved, Koufos knows he will have to pick just one before it is all said and done. That won't be an easy task but he does know what he wants.
"I know that anywhere I go, I will have to work really hard to get playing time so that doesn't worry me too much," Koufos said. "I want to find a place that wins games. I want to play for a while. Having a great staff is going to be a plus and a place where I can feel at home."
Noting he would like to stay in the East or the Midwest, location will also play a part, he says.
Koufos was sidelined with injury a month and a half ago. Since then his team went from 9-1 to 13-5. Obviously missing Koufos's versatility and 24 points, 11 rebounds, seven blocks and four assists a game hurts but the big man tries his best to keep his teammates motivated.
"Yeah, it is tough but I'm doing all I can to help them out and stay focused myself," he said. "If you think it is tough, it is going to be tough. That is why I try not to think about it too much."
College coaches will have to get an early peek at Koufos this spring. He is expected to be back in mid-March but doesn't want to rush a return back. His spring showing may be the only time he plays on the AAU circuit.
Koufos said there is a chance that he suits up for the Greek Junior National team this summer, missing a good part of June and July. He did note that he will return for the Nike All-American camp if he does make the National team.