Maine high school star considers Terps 6-7 Caouette bombarded by 63 scholarship offers

November 08, 1995|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

T. J. Caouette, a 6-foot-7 forward from Winthrop (Maine) High who has had 63 scholarship offers, will announce his decision tomorrow from a final four that includes Maryland, Villanova, Vanderbilt and Notre Dame.

Caouette -- pronounced "cow-ET" -- has averaged 25.5 points in 57 games for Winthrop, playing point guard and power forward.

His coach, Dave Poulin, said Caouette was "probably the best player in the state" since Joe Harrington, and the most recruited. Harrington, from Bath, Maine, later played and coached at Maryland. He is currently the coach at Colorado.

Caouette is rated the ninth power forward-wing forward in the country by evaluator Bob Gibbons.

"He had a fantastic Nike camp and was called the senior sleeper of the summer," Poulin said. "He's extremely physical and aggressive, and he has great perimeter skills."

As a freshman on Winthrop's undefeated state champions in 1992-93, Caouette did not start, but was the team's top scorer and rebounder. As a sophomore, he played point guard out of necessity, then moved to forward last season, averaging 34.6 points a game.

Caouette visited Maryland two weeks ago.

"He loved the program, he loved Coach [Gary] Williams, who we consider one of the elite coaches in the country, and he loves the ACC," Poulin said.

The early national signing period begins today.

Among those players Maryland also is recruiting are 6-10 Jermaine O'Neal of Eau Claire High in Columbia, S.C.; 6-6 Nate James of St. John's at Prospect Hall in Frederick; 6-4 Donnie Carr of Roman Catholic in Philadelphia; and 6-3 Ryan Bailey of Hargrove Military Academy in Virginia. Bailey, a point guard, is the brother of UCLA star Toby Bailey.

Among the area's other college basketball programs there was no word of any anticipated signings today.

NOTES: Exree Hipp returned to practice after missing a week with a sprained ankle, and Sarunas Jasikevicius went out with the same injury. . . . Freshman point guard Terrell Stokes is taking cortisone shots for back spasms that have limited him to only two practices. He will not play in the team's exhibition opener against Court Authority on Monday.

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