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October 19, 2006

Singler could change basketball

Small forward
6-8, 210, Medford (Ore.) South Medford

Rivals.com Rankings
Rivals150 for 2007: No. 4 overall
2007 small forwards: No. 1

Career Stats
2005-06 (Jr.) 20.5 5.4 1.9
2004-05 (Soph.) 19.9 7.0 3.0
2003-04 (Fr.) 11.0 8.0 N/A

Watch the latest highlights of Kyle Singler in action

The United States is longing for another "dream team" when it comes to international competition. The rest of the world has caught up to the red, white and blue. But that could change in the near future, especially with guys like Kyle Singler making their way up the basketball ranks.

The unassuming 6-foot-8 forward from South Medford (Ore.) High School is a throwback - a player that values the fundamentals and competes in every game like a gold medal is on the line.

Singler is the most versatile player in the top-heavy class of 2007. Rivals.com National Basketball Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer says the shaggy haired Northwesterner would be a perfect fit for Team USA in the future.

"Singler is definitely a model for the type of player the USA needs to be developing in order to compete with the improving international competition," Meyer said. "Singler is a complete player who transcends any one position. He has a fluid game with a high basketball IQ. He has the ability to succeed in any style of play."

Basketball decision-makers began to see Singler's vast potential at the Nike Skills Academy in Portland, Ore., this summer.

"He did take the Nike brass' breath away with the way he played at the Skills Academy," Meyer said. "George Raveling was talking about how he was a first-round pick and John Lucas was even bringing up the Larry Bird comparison. When these guys saw Kyle up close against elite competition, they realized he was in the upper echelon of the elite."

Singler has answered the call on the national scene time and time again. When he was paired with Kevin Love two summers ago with the Portland Legends, Singler stepped up when Love went down with an injury. Singler played every position en route to the tourney title.

That doesn't surprise Meyer.

"He can play and defend so many different positions. There is not a thing he can't do on the court," Meyer said. "So whatever need a team might have, Singler can fill it. He also is capable of being a great role player as well as being the go-to guy."

For those that follow the game religiously and professionally, Singler is a player that even Dr. James Naismith would be proud to watch.

"A basketball purest has to love the way Singler keeps the game simple," Meyer said. "He is not going for style points or trying to show up his opponent. He is efficient and effortlessly blends himself into the action of the game, almost a Zen-like fashion. Most importantly, he is the type of player that anyone would want on his team."

Duke wants him. Kansas wants him. So does Arizona, Washington and UCLA. With all of his official visits out of the way, a decision is on the horizon. He'll make his pick and certainly shine wherever he goes. And then his turn on the national team will present itself.

Singler will certainly answer that call.

Rivals.com is unveiling its preseason Elite Team for the Class of 2007. Comprised of the nation's top high school basketball stars, the Elite Team is broken down into position-specific first, second and third teams. These stars will soon be signing with the top college basketball programs en route to the NBA. We will announce one player each weekday from Oct. 2-20.

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