Let's recruit this guy that just became available...
LSU signee asks for release
By RANDY ROSETTA
Published: May 9, 2007
LSU’s highly touted 2007 men’s basketball recruiting class is about to dwindle by one player.
Canadian small forward D.J. Wright is seeking a release from the national letter of intent he signed with the Tigers last fall and will not attend LSU.
“D.J. made his decision and has requested his release and will look at his other options,” Wright’s summer coach Ro Russell said. “He is in the midst of working out the details with the athletic department, and once he’s done that, he’ll open up the process.”
Wright’s commitment to LSU began to waver when former Tigers assistant coach Nikita Johnson took a job at Louisiana Tech late last month. Russell said Wright was “uncomfortable” without Johnson around.
The 6-foot-7 Wright was part of a six-man class that was ranked as high as fourth nationally by HoopScooponline.com last month. Wright, who played at Toronto Academy Prep School last season and averaged 29 points and 12 rebounds, was expected to give the Tigers’ perimeter shooting a boost.
LSU coach John Brady declined comment on the specifics of Wright’s release, noting that the process has only started and will have to be signed off on by Wright’s parents and administrators at the university and NCAA levels before it is official.
Brady did say he wouldn’t stand in the way of Wright backing out.
“I’m inclined to give the young man his unconditional release because if he doesn’t want to wear this uniform, or if there’s any doubt or hesitation on his part, the best situation for him and us is to part ways,” Brady said.
Wright’s exit before he arrived was also likely affected by the spring signing of Marcus Thornton, a 6-4 guard from Tara High School and Kilgore (Texas) College. Thornton averaged 26.6 points a game as a sophomore last season, fifth nationally at the junior college level.
Though not lauded as the shooter Wright is, Thornton’s experience and ability to score in a variety of ways were clear signs that he would be above the Canadian in the pecking order for perimeter playing time, Brady said.
“With the signing of Marcus, if we lose a younger perimeter player, it’s not going to hurt us,” Brady said. “With Marcus coming on board with his credentials as a junior college player with experience, I’m very happy with our perimeter situation next year. We’ve got Tasmin Mitchell here for two more years, and nobody is going to beat him out. We’ve got Terry Martin there, and now Marcus, and with the progress Chris Johnson has already made this spring, we have plenty of options in our perimeter.”
Losing Wright opens up a scholarship that LSU could use immediately or hold for 2008 when the Tigers are scheduled to have only one open slot for sure. Brady said he’s leaning toward holding the spot for 2008 “unless we find somebody really special this year.”
“We needed another scholarship for next year, and I like the idea of signing two players in that class,” he said. “It gives us a little more flexibility instead of having just one (scholarship to give).”
With those slots to fill, the focus is heavily on a talented crop of in-state big men.
Greg Monroe (6-10, 226) of Helen Cox-Harvey is the No. 1-rated player in the country by Rivalshoops.com and Scout.com and is entrenched at the top of the Tigers 2008 recruiting wish list.
The departure of Wright allows LSU more wiggle room to pursue the other three Louisiana players targeted as Division I stars of the future: Terrance Henry (6-9, 190) of Carroll-Monroe, Brandon Moore (6-9, 180) of Holy Cross-New Orleans and Storm Warren (6-7, 215) of Richwood-Monroe.
LSU is also taking serious looks at two other highly rated 2008 big men:
Howard “Trey” Thompkins (6-9, 225), a five-star prospect from Lithonia, Ga., and Oak Hill Academy who is ranked as the 13th best player nationally by Rivals and 14th by Scout.
Romero Osby (6-8, 230) from Northwest Lauderdale High School in Meridian, Miss. Osby is rated a five-star player by Scout and ranked 16th nationally, while Rivals puts him at No. 28 nationally.
“We’re focused on the kind of players who aren’t worried about who’s already here or who their competition is going to be,” LSU associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Butch Pierre said. “We want the kind of players who just want to come and play and compete and do whatever they have to do to win basketball games.”
I cheer for two teams, Iowa State and whoever is playing the hawkeyes.
Re: Let's recruit this guy that just became available...
Another small forward, why? I think another gaurd or big man would be ok as long as they have talent worthy of a scholarship.