Withrow High (Cincinnati) forward
Such are the perils for big men during the summer camp season.
"In a lot of the camps, the guards are just trying to get theirs, so it makes it hard on us," said Gates, who is currently No. 11 in the
"Sometimes when you get to these marquee events, if you have one bad game, you can see your stock drop," Naclerio said. "Nobody knows why a player drops, but he can be a very good player in the Big East."
A rededicated Gates has led to a banner season for Withrow thus far. The Tigers currently sit atop the Southwestern Ohio Public League, with Gates leading the way. In Withrow's recent 58-57 victory over Ohio's Canal Winchester High and their ballyhooed center
"B.J.'s a great player and a good friend," said Gates, who has played with Mullens on the Ohio/Cleveland basketball Club on the AAU circuit. "But he's a pretty highly-rated guy, so it felt good to play well against him. So much for rankings."
Indeed, at this point, Cincinnati has more riding on a Gates revival in the national rankings than Gates himself. Citing a desire to stay near his family and to be able to contribute as freshman, Gates had long ago pegged the Bearcats as his favorite, so his slide in the rankings had little effect on him as a practical matter. But
"I talked with some of the coaches at UC, and they said that the McDonald's people have whittled their list of players that they might select down to 50 and that I am still on that list," Gates said. "They told me to just keep working hard and we'll see what happens. I'd really like to make it."
Although the last few months have been trying for Gates, he says he realizes that starting next fall, nobody will care about who was ranked where in high school.
"People can say what they want about rankings and who's better than who and all that," Gates said. "I'm just going to keep playing hard. I'm the same player I've always been."