CHAPEL HILL — Ryan Harrow is sucking down protein shakes.
He plans to eat four or five meals a day, plus a peanut butter and jelly sandwich each night before he goes to bed.
Though he might look out of place, the wispy, 6-foot-1 N.C. State basketball commitment will spend his summer pumping iron with the football team at his high school, Walton, in Marietta, Ga.
"All the critics . . . they say I've got everything, except I need to put some weight on, probably," Harrow said after a game in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions held in the Triangle over the weekend. "The players in the ACC have big bodies."
Harrow, a class of 2010 point guard, does not. By the end of the summer, he hopes to weigh 165 pounds. He weighed 158 the last time he checked.
His slight frame was the reason his scholarship offer from N.C. State last summer came as a surprise in recruiting circles. Even his high school coach, Joe Goydish, was skeptical after putting him on the scale after Harrow transferred from Cannon School in Concord.
The scale read 134 pounds, yet Harrow was talking about being recruited by schools such as Virginia Tech. When Goydish saw how quick Harrow is on the court, it started to make sense.
"He's just one of those guys that's got this wiry thin body with a lot of bounce and a lot of pop in his step," said scout.com analyst Dave Telep. "He can score. As soon as he puts all the pieces together and rounds it out and puts it into a point guard package, he's going to be a very, very good scoring point guard."
He didn't hurt his reputation last weekend. He scored 26 points in each of his Atlanta Celtics club team's first two playoff round games.
Harrow skittered into the lane to score over bigger players, swished 3-pointers and delivered jaw-dropping no-look passes. By the time he was held to 17 points in a loss to the CP3 All-Stars in the 17-and-under semifinal, Harrow had cemented his reputation.
"I think I played really well this weekend, and this is supposed to be the best talent, in this tournament," he said. "I did what I had to do, so I think I accomplished everything I wanted except winning a championship."
Now it's back to the weight room and the high-protein diet, which Harrow hopes will have him ready for the ACC in 2010.
"People push him around a little bit, and that's the way you have to play him," Goydish said, "because if you don't, you won't guard him."
firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-829-8942