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Insider

USC always opens its mail; Ledo's good fit

11/21/2011

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- There was something going on in town besides the Harvard-Yale football game. From Albertus Magnus College, it was the National Prep Showcase.

Serb sends video, gets a USC scholarship

This never happens, but it’s a great story on the rare occasion when it does. USC didn’t find small forward Strahinja Gavrilovic (Serbia/LaJolla Prep). The 18-year old forward found the Trojans.

Gavrilovic said he first sent the Trojans a video of himself and then they came to see him once he got to the States. I can’t tell you how rare it is for this to happen. Most of the DVDs sent from a kid wind up in the trash. This one led to a scholarship offer. Plus, the kid can play!

He’s got good size at 6-foot-7, instincts as a scorer and creator and a measured toughness to him. On the surface, he won't ace many look tests, but his understanding and approach should come with time. Plus, he understands just enough English to pick up what coach Kevin O'Neill communicates (or yells) to him.

I know there’s more to this story, but my give and take with Gavrilovic was tough to understand with balls bouncing in the gym and me trying to read his lips and vice versa. He hasn’t gotten much attention because no one knew who he was, but it looks like the Trojans have themselves another forward they can work with.

The Trojans, on purpose or inadvertently, are setting up a nice pipeline to Eastern Europe. Gavrilovic is the second Eastern European in two years headed to USC.

Providence sets up well for Ledo

The fact that Ricardo Ledo (Providence, R.I./South Kent) went for 37 points in his opener came as no great surprise. He’s that good of a scorer and when he’s locked in, like he was on Friday, he shows high-level college ability and flashes of playing beyond college.

The minute Ledo laces them up for Providence he becomes everything Jeremy Hazell was for Seton Hall plus a dribble-drive game. The easy part for Ledo will be scoring. Playing with the other four guys, so they don’t get caught up in the show is the part that the Friars will have to figure out. Ledo needs his touches to keep interested and if he gets his shots up, he’s going to get points. He’ll arrive at Providence a full season removed from Marshon Brooks and likely to a situation that will require his assistance. It’s a pretty good set up for him. He’s been somewhat-unfocused off the court and that’s the part that he owes to himself to get cleaned up.

The adjustment that Austin Rivers is having at Duke could replicate itself with Ledo, minus the surrounding cast. You know what the endgame looks like, it’s just how long it takes for him and the Friars to adapt to each other.

ACC point guard preview

Wake Forest's Codi Miller-McIntyre (Charlotte, N.C./Hargrave) and Clemson's Adonis Filer (Chicago, Ill./ND Prep) faced off against each other on Friday.

Filer is the unheralded guy. He’s strong, tough, somewhat-vocal and best served going to the rim. CMM isn’t vocal, is in great shape and the strength of his game is long-range shooting. Both guys can drive it, though Filer is stronger and this is the bulk of his offense. In terms of creating, CMM gets the nod. The verdict tips in favor of CMM because of the skill and he’s a more natural scorer.

Wake Forest will like its guy and he’ll start there. Clemson won’t be disappointed in taking Filer. Had the Tigers not, it might have been difficult getting a kid of equal talent later in the spring and while he’s not a ESPNU 100 kid like CMM, he’s tough enough to compete.