If relationships are everything in basketball recruiting, then LSU
is in a great position in the recruitment of 5-star guard Keith Frazier
of Kimball High School in Dallas.
Frazier is being guided through the recruitment process by family friend and mentor Erven "Big E" Davis, who calls LSU coach Johnny Jones "my man."
Davis, a well known AAU coach in the DFW area (not Frazier's coach, however), has known Jones for years in an especially close way: His brother, Chris Davis, was recruited by Jones when he was the head coach at North Texas and is considered by many to be the best player in Mean Green history. Chris Davis is a member of the North Texas Hall of Fame and was a star in the European professional basketball ranks.
"Johnny has always been upfront and honest," he said. "That's a relationship that's already been established. If Keith came to me today and said that he wanted to go to LSU, he wouldn't get a 'nay' from me."
Davis said he is also very familiar with LSU assistant Robert Kirby, who is leading the recruitment of Frazier.
"LSU is definitely one of the first schools Keith mentions when I ask him," Davis said.
Frazier is also familiar with Jones from his days at North Texas. He was a frequent participant in pick-up games and open gyms on the North Texas campus. He is also aware of LSU's early commitments, who would be his future teammates if he signs with LSU.
"He's real familiar with Jordan Mickey
and Jarell Martin
," Davis said. "He's played with Mickey in some AAU stuff and he knows Martin from the summer circuit. I was not familiar with Tim Quarterman, but I did some research. He looks like a really good player."
Davis went on to say that he is aware, and has discussed with Frazier, the potential of LSU having a Top 3 recruiting class with the addition of Frazier. "Oh yes, no doubt," he said.
Other schools Frazier is considering are: SMU, Texas A&M, Texas, Memphis and Arizona.
NCAA rules do not allow a recruit to take official visits until he has at least taken the ACT or SAT. Frazier has only recently taken a test, so he has not previously gone on any official visits. He has unofficially visited SMU, Texas and Texas A&M.
"We will probably set up some visits soon," Davis said. "I think he'll take some visits during the season to see first-hand the style of play and interact with some of the players."
The early signing period runs from Nov. 14 through Nov. 21. If a player does not sign during that period, they must wait until April 17, 2013. Davis said it was possible that Frazier could sign early, but doubtful.
"Most likely, it's going to have to be late," he said.
He also added that, despite his relationship with Jones, he would not push Frazier in the direction of any school.
"It's all about Keith and what's right for him," Davis said. "I'm just helping him navigate the process."
David Taylor picks up his first offer
Despite being the son of former LSU star Derrick Taylor, a former teammate of LSU coach Johnny Jones, German point guard David Taylor is looking less likely as a possible LSU recruit.
There has been only limited contact with Jones, and Taylor is starting to receive offers from smaller schools, such as the University of the Pacific, which is located in Stockton, Ca., and plays in the Big West Conference.
"The coaches at Pacific are very interested and they offered him a scholarship after seeing some video and watching him play for about an hour," said Derrick Taylor. "The brother and sister of my wife both live in California so that's where we have this connection. The Pacific coaches know that getting David would be a huge steal for them and they are going all out to get him there. He has not grown up in the States, so he has no idea what American universities are all about. He is impressed with the facilities and the surroundings at some of the West Coast schools."
With many years of playing college and professional basketball, as well as coaching and training in the professional ranks in Europe, Taylor believes his son is a high level recruit. However, the process is still in its early stages.
"This was the first year the NCAA did not allow coaches to go to the European Championships and I think that has hurt David as far as being seen and then being recruited, said Taylor. "He is a Division 1 player. I'm his father and it's not my character to brag, but he is a kid that can help a team win games and be a true student-athlete. I'm trying to stay out of it and just help him with his decision, but at the moment I have only spoken to Johnny once, by phone, and he said he wants to come to Germany, but that doesn't seem to be possible. I can't imagine when he would have the time. I will get more active and contact schools and I hope I have a better gauge of what is possible in the next few months."
He added that David would "love my university." Of course, he was referring to LSU.
Depending on how LSU's roster shakes out in the spring with any possible transfers, Taylor could be a fall-back recruit. It is common for European players to choose a school well into the summer, so a decision likely will not be made until then.
Jones and his assistants still have plenty of time to scout and evaluate Taylor and possibly add him to the current class.
Come inside with TSD's Matt McCurdy for the latest on 2013 five-star prospect Keith Frazier. Could he be the finishing touch on a consensus top-three class for Johnny Jones and LSU?