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January 5, 2011

Cats atop Cortesia's list

Once a well-stashed prospect, the "secret" that is Anthony Cortesia isn't so quiet these days. As the 6-foot-9 Venezuela native continues to hone his skills at Lee Academy Prep in northeast Maine, word about the junior sharpshooter is beginning to spread. So while no formal scholarship offers have hit the table just yet, coaches are calling and buzz is beginning to build.

Cortesia's head coach at Lee, Andrew Papaefthemiou, has taken notice. Suddenly, its more than just Kansas State, the first school to make contact, placing routine phone calls to the country's extreme north.

As the 2011 calendar year gets rolling, Frank Martin's Wildcat coaching staff has company on this branch of the recruiting trail, and the party in the Pine Tree State seems to be growing.

"He's gotten some letters from Georgetown," Papaefthemiou said. "I've had some contact with their assistants. There's also been some contact with Indiana, Wake Forest, and Providence. I think everybody is just waiting to see how much better he's going to get. They all know he's a high-major potential player. Everyone just wants to see a little more output from him."

"Some people already think (Cortesia to K-State is) already wired in there. I guess we'll see. It's still so early."

Cortesia's only unofficial visit to date was to Manhattan and came during K-State's early-season win over Virginia Tech. The forward was off limits for interviews at that time as he still struggles with English, having arrived in America just last September. Papaefthemiou communicates with his prospect on a daily basis, however, and seems comfortable conveying the situation's outlook as it stands today.

"I think he may end up at Kansas State, but they want to see how he develops and everything like that," Papaefthemiou said. "If the situation doesn't pan out at Kansas State, obviously, we'll have to look at other schools, but he doesn't have any other unofficial visits he's looking at now."

When asked for clarification, the Panda head coach simply reintegrated his point. So is that to say the Martin's staff leads the pack with any other options acting as simple fallback options?

"Exactly," he said. "It's exactly that right now."

Cortesia's junior season has been inconsistent, a fact that has translated to erratic statistics. "He'll score in the high 20s some games and get seven or eight on others," Papaefthemiou said. For now, the ups and downs are being attributed to the physicality of the American game, a change for which Cortesia's 185-pound frame isn't ready, at least at this juncture.

"He's going to have to get more physical," Papaefthemiou said. "That's the area he needs to work on most. He has a decent frame on him. Right now, he needs to eat constantly, eat the right things and hit the weight room hard. We need him in the low 200s. If he could gain 10 pounds every year, I think that'd be solid. That's a reasonable goal."


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