There’s no doubt that Marcus Lee‘s stock is on the rise. The question is: How high will it go?
The Kentucky signee jumped to No. 21 overall (up 18 spots) in the latest Scout.com rankings released last week, which means yet another major recruiting service considers him a five-star prospect.
Lee, a 6-foot-9 post player from California, is averaging about 18 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocks per game for Deer Valley this season.
Scout.com national analyst Evan Daniels pointed out that those are similar numbers to what he averaged as a junior.
“He’s really talented,” Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “I think he can impact the game on the defensive end and impact the game with his ability to rebound. I think those are probably the things that really spurred his move.”
Video footage of two full Deer Valley games was made available to the Herald-Leader recently, and that video showed Lee as a dominant defender who is still trying to find his way offensively.
Many of his points came in transition or on putbacks off of offensive rebounds. Lee did show flashes of a growing offensive repertoire, including a couple of drop-step baskets and the ability to make turnaround shots while posting up against smaller defenders.
Daniels said the fact that Lee has achieved five-star status despite a limited offensive game only shows how good he can be.
“I think he’s showed some signs that (his offense) can be improved and get better down the road,” Daniels said. “I still think that’s the biggest area for improvement for him. I don’t think he’s a guy right now that you throw the ball to on the block and say, ‘Go score me a bucket.’
“That’s also a good sign too, because he’s such a highly rated prospect and still has such a big area to improve on.”
2014 target Jalen Lindsey plans to play with the Georgia Stars again this summer, Christ Presbyterian head coach Drew Maddux told the Herald-Leader last week. The Stars are a part of the Nike EYBL circuit and were also the summer team for current UK forward Alex Poythress.
Maddux also expects Lindsey to hit all of the big camps this summer, but basketball could take a backseat for a couple of weeks in June and July.
According to his high school coach, Lindsey is planning to participate in a mission trip to Uganda through Christ Presbyterian.
“He’s always wanted to go serve and this would be a great opportunity to go do that,” Maddux said. “This is something that’s very important to him and his family and speaks volumes about the type of young man he is. He’s an incredible young man.”
Maddux talked to the Herald-Leader about UK’s interest in Lindsey and his ties to former Wildcat Ron Mercer in an article last week.
UK assistant coach Orlando Antigua was supposed to be in Jackson, Ky., on Monday night to get a first look at under-the-radar 2013 recruit MiKyle McIntosh of 22ft Academy. But Antigua’s first contact with that team came last fall when he inquired about 2015 prospect Jamar Ergas.
Like McIntosh, Ergas is a native of the Toronto area and has played for multiple schools over the past couple of seasons. The 6-foot-4 wing finished second to Julius Randle at the Under Armour Elite 24 dunk contest last August.
22ft Academy coach Ryan Schmidt described Ergas as a “spectacular” prospect.
“He’s a freak athlete. I’ve never seen a kid as athletic as this,” Schmidt told the Herald-Leader. “… And his basketball IQ is actually high for being only a sophomore.
“On defense, when he locks in — because of his athleticism — he’s one of those kids that you can put him on the other team’s best scorer and you’re going to be fine.”
Schmidt said UK remains interested in Ergas and “pretty much all of the big-name schools” have inquired. The coach specifically mentioned North Carolina, UCLA, Florida, Kansas and N.C. State as top programs that have already reached out.
22ft Academy is still finalizing its schedule for the rest of the season after moving to Jackson during the fall semester. Schmidt said a March game against Huntington Prep and top UK target Andrew Wiggins remains a possibility.
Here’s a video mixtape of Ergas from his freshman season.
UK signee James Young has bounced back in a big way.
Since scoring only three points (and playing with the flu) in his team’s Jan. 11 loss, Young has averaged 32.5 points and 17.5 rebounds in his last four games — all victories for Rochester (Mich.).
Young’s run-in with the flu accounted for Rochester’s only loss in its last nine games, and the future Cat scored 27 or more points in seven of those contests.