- Reggie Rankin, RecruitingNation
Center Karviar Shepherd (Dallas/Prime Prep Academy), No. 45 overall in the ESPN 100, is preparing to start his official visits this coming weekend, when he will check out Texas A&M. TCU, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma are also on his short list.
"I want to find a coach that can make me the best I can be and help me improve," Shepherd said. "The way I play fits many styles, and academically I want to be a math teacher and maybe a minor in sports science or sports medicine."
I evaluated Shepherd this past spring and summer, and this 6-foot-9, 215-pound post player is a hard worker. He welcomes doing the dirty work such as rebounding and taking charges, and his post defense is terrific. Shepherd makes the offensive opponent shoot over him, and that is not an easy task to execute.
On offense, Shepherd runs the floor well and is tough and physical. He finshes above the rim on the break and from drop-off passes created by dribble penetration and on all clear paths to the rim. Shepherd's energy and effort are consistent and he is very productive.
He will need to continue to work on improving on the offensive end of the floor in the areas of footwork and touch. Around the basket, where he already has made great strides, he is building his all-around post game at a steady pace. Shepherd is just scratching the surface of how good he can be and he has already come a long way. His upside is off the charts.
"Karviar is a tough, blue-collar player that is tough as they come on the court. He has a great motor and he is always working on his game. Off the court, he is a gentle giant," said Gregory "Jazzy" Hartwell, who is the director of Shepherd's travel team, Urban DFW Elite, which is loaded with terrific talent at every position.
Scouts have also seen the type of effort Shepherd puts into the game and what a high-character guy he is.
"Karviar is the best leader and teammate of any high-level player I have seen in the last couple years," said TexasBoysBasketball.com's Alan Branch, who has followed Shepherd for several years. "He plays equally as hard on both ends of the floor. He blocks shots, takes charges, rebounds and is a verbal leader on defense."
Signing early is not out of the question for Shepherd, who said, "I could sign early; it will depend on how my visits go and how I feel after the visits."
After speaking with Shepherd and watching him compete, some lucky college coach will be getting a young man who will be a great asset to his program on and off the court.
1dJeremy Crabtree and Brandon Chatmon