C.J. Leslie weighs his options

C.J. Leslie weighs his options, but not at Jordan all-star game

Staff writerApril 15, 2010 

C.J. Leslie arrived in New York City on Wednesday morning, but the nationally ranked college basketball recruit doesn't plan to use the Jordan Brand Classic high school all-star basketball game as a stage for his college announcement.

Leslie, a 6-foot-8 forward at Raleigh Word of God, has narrowed his list of colleges to Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky and N.C. State, and at one point, he thought he might be ready to announce his decision soon.

He now plans to make an official visit to Florida next week.

"I'm really not leaning toward to a school right now," Leslie said. "I'm still making my decision."

Leslie said each of the four schools has strong points.

N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe is a great coach and State is a great opportunity for him, Leslie said. He has known Lowe the longest of the four head coaches, and Leslie said he has a great relationship with the Wolfpack coach.

"Plus, it is really close to home," he said.

Leslie had committed to State after his freshman season but later decided to look at other options. He said he initially committed before he really understood the recruiting process.

Kentucky is a great program, and coach John Calipari is a great coach who has a history of preparing players for the NBA, Leslie said. The player believes he would fit in well in the Wildcats' offensive system. Calipari visited with Leslie last week.

Billy Donovan at Florida has a strong track record of coaching power forwards and teaching them the skills they need to play in the NBA, Leslie said.

Connecticut is similar to Florida, in that it has a coach, Jim Calhoun, who is known for teaching frontcourt players, Leslie said. The Huskies also usually go deep into the NCAA tournament.

Leslie doesn't plan to concentrate on his college decision this week, though.

He is looking forward to seeing and playing with friends in the Jordan game. He knows many of the players from summer camps and club-team play.

"Seeing the guys is the best part," Leslie said. "The big thing is to have fun."

The Jordan game, like the McDonald's All American Game that was played March 31, assembles many of the top high school basketball players in the country for a generally high-scoring all-star game. The Jordan game will be televised live at 8 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2.

Leslie ranks among the nation's top prospects. He is ranked No. 8 in the country by ESPN, No. 12 by Scout.com and No. 14 by Rivals.com.

Leslie scored seven points in the McDonald's game.

"The best part was being with the little kids," Leslie said. "Signing autographs and just visiting with them was special. Going into the game, I just wanted to have fun playing."

The Jordan game also will feature Duke recruit Kyrie Irving and North Carolina recruit Reggie Bullock on the East team. Leslie and UNC recruits Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes will play on the West squad.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service