Putney thriving under the radar

Playing at Woodbridge High School in Prince William County (Va.) Raphiael Putney does not get quite as much publicity as some of the players in the D.C./Metro area private school conferences or closer-in suburbs of Virginia and Maryland.

The 6-foot-8 Putney did not have glossy statistics playing for coach Chad Anderson at Woodbridge last year as a junior, averaging nine points and seven rebounds on a very balanced young team, but Putney has impressed college coaches with his athleticism, versatility and court presence.

"My coaching philosophy is that players are basketball players first and foremost," Anderson said. "I like for my big players to be complete players, not just inside players. So, consequently, even though Raphiael is 6-8, we let him use his versatility and athleticism to create mismatches on the perimeter."

Putney is drawing recruiting interest from colleges such as George Washington University, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, St. Joe's, George Mason University, Temple and Niagra. He has taken official recruiting visits to George Washington and UMass.

In addition to being an athletic, versatile player with excellent basketball upside, Putney is a good student.

"Raphiael is a 3.0 (GPA) student. He is very interested in keeping up his academics and succeeding in the classroom," Anderson said. "He is a terrific kid. He is liked and respected by his teammates and classmates, just a good kid."

Though Putney is a good student, Anderson said that it is possible that Putney will attend prep school for a year in 2009-2010 before choosing a college.

"If he did prep, it would be to mature physically. He doesn't need to prep because of his grades or academics. Obviously, at 160 pounds, he is very thin and he could stand to get bigger and stronger for college," Anderson said. "He has a couple of colleges that would take him now who don't want him to prep. So, prepping is an option, but nothing has been decided for sure."

James Quinn covers high school sports for ESPN RISE's MdVarsity.com