Is a seven-foot Greek center considering playing college ball in the US?
Oregon may have missed out on the Jamal Murray sweepstakes last week, but they are one of four teams currently in the market for yet another potential five-star foreign prospect.
That would be Georgis Papagiannis, a 7-foot, 260 pound center from Greece. Papagiannis played one season of high school ball in the states before returning to his home country to play for Panathinaikos, one of the biggest clubs in Greece.
But the big fella only saw time in 11 games this season, and according to this story from SI.com, that plays a major role in the fact that he is considering coming to the United States to play in college.
“If Georgios plays more in college, and plays with guys his age, he’s [going to be able to] show how good he is,” his father told SI.
Papagiannis is considering four schools at this point: Kentucky, N.C. State, St. John’s and Oregon. Kentucky is looking to add some front court depth -- they are also toying with the idea of bringing New Zealand prospect Tai Wynyard over in December -- as is N.C. State. St. John’s desperately needs a low-post threat on both ends after forcing out Chris Obekpa.
But it’s the Oregon connection that is the most intriguing.
Let’s go beyond the fact that Oregon, a borderline top 25 team, is severely lacking in bid bodies, making Papagiannis a perfect fit on their roster. Not only is the Greece national team sponsored by Nike, but Oregon already has a member of their 2015 recruiting class in the national team program. Tyler Dorsey, a top 25 guard from California, is playing for the Greeks in the U19 tournament in Greece this week.
And you better believe he is actively recruiting the big man.
“I’ve been talking to him every day about it,” Dorsey told SI. “I don’t know what he’s gonna do, but I tell him he could come in and play a key role. We need him. Another big is what we’re missing.”
There’s no guarantee Papagiannis ends up coming across the Atlantic to play in college. But if he does, he may be the last impact freshman available in the Class of 2015.