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Mount St. Joseph's Atkins has options

Two years as Mount St. Joseph's starting point guard has a way of generating recruiting interest.

At least that's what Gaels junior Eric Atkins has discovered. Atkins, who averaged approximately 14 points per game as a sophomore, is hearing from a variety of high-major Division I programs.

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"There are probably about five schools right now in the mix," MSJ head coach Pat Clatchey said. "Virginia Tech, Pitt, Notre Dame, Villanova and Vanderbilt. ... I would think those are the schools he has a genuine interest in. UMass is another school [he's considering]."

Clatchey said Maryland has also shown interest, but not to the extent of the other six schools mentioned.

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"To be honest, I think the kid's being under-recruited," Clatchey said. "He's got some quality schools recruiting him; I think the kid's a terrific player."

Atkins, 6'0, spent the summer playing with D.C. Assault, teaming with a pair of Duke commitments -- Spotsylvania, Va., power forward Josh Hairston and Gonzaga (D.C.) point guard Tyler Thornton. According to Clatchey, Atkins doesn't have a timetable for making a decision.

Clatchey said Atkins' fundamentals, unselfish play and high basketball IQ are all qualities cited by college recruiters impressed with his game.

"I just think he's a very good all-around basketball player," Clatchey said. "I think he has a great understanding of the game and has the ability to make other players better. His decision-making, I think, is just terrific. He has a great feel in the sense of how to play the game. I think he's a very good high school player and I think he'll be a very good college player as well. Whoever's fortunate enough to get him is getting a champion on and off the court."


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