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July 26, 2012
New Orleans Elite will have another chance to be in front of numerous college coaches this week in Las Vegas again, and one of the team's impact players is 2014 four-star prospect Craig Victor. The New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine recruit played well last week during the Fullcourt Press Cream of the Crop Challenge and the 6-foot-8 prospect is looking to keep that going during the final evaluation period of July.
Victor said he was happy with how he was able to perform last week even though his squad wasn't able to take the crown in the Invite Division, especially as he had things he was trying to focus on.
"Playing physical," the rising junior said about what went well for him last week. "Dictating the game, playing hard and my jumper has been falling. I also just want to keep attacking the rim because I've been attacking the rim real well. And I've been able to play above the rim."
When it comes to showing college coaches what he can do, Victor said he wants show his ability on both ends of the floor.
"A lot of us guys can score, but I take pride in my defense," he said. "So I just want to show coaches that I can defend also."
As an impact player for his NO Elite squad Victor has already picked up quite a few offers and he could pick up more before all is said and done. Right now the versatile forward said there are a few who are maybe sticking out above the rest in terms of their contact with him.
Victor said that the Wildcats have been recruiting him for a little while now and he's certainly giving the program a good look.
"Coach (Joe) Pasternack and all those guys over there, I've been hearing from them for a minute," he said. "As things have gone on we've been in contact more and more."
UA has started to build a reputation for being a good spot for versatile wings on the heels of Derrick Williams' success, but it's another versatile player that Victor is going to watch this season.
"They had Derrick Williams, but I also know they have the new signee Brandon Ashley and he plays above the rim," he said. "He plays a little bit on the perimeter and he plays in the post. I've watched them play a lot when Derrick Williams played and I believe that would be a good fit for me."
With so many options to choose from all over the country, Victor said the biggest thing he's looking for is a family-oriented program.
"In case I leave home, I want a coach that's going to treat me like his own," the nation's 24th-ranked recruit said. "I don't want to have to worry about that. I want to know that he'll have my back through thick and thin, and that's what I look for in a school. Also a school that's going to compete hard and has a chance of going to the NCAA Tournament and even winning it."
Even though the big man is already skilled and can do a variety of things on the floor, Victor said there are still areas he wants to improve.
"Playing hard, that's the key," he said about what he's most proud of with his game. "I want to keep working on my ball handling, because that's been going well for me. Me and my coach have been working on that a lot on days off. I've been working on my body too, so I'm going to continue to do that.
"I just want to continue to work hard."
During the last evaluation period there were times when Victor showed he could play in the post when needed or step out on the perimeter when needed. At this point it doesn't matter where he's playing on the floor at the next level in his eyes.
"Wherever the coach needs me," he said. "Whatever the school needs at that time I'm willing to play, anything to help my team win."
Even though it's somewhat early in his recruitment, Victor already has a timeframe in mind for making his choice.
"I would say after my junior season," he said. "By the time my junior season is over I think I'll be ready to make a decision. So heading into my senior season once that signing period comes around I should have my mind made up."
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