Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Recruiting 2016: T.J. Leaf visits UCLA this Friday Oct 23.

Oregon Basketball Recruiting RUMORS: T.J. Leaf Cuts List To 3, Oregon Closing Gap On UCLA?

T.J. Leaf has narrowed his list of schools down to three and it appears Oregon is closing the gap on favorite UCLA.
By Mike Woolfson | Oct 13, 2015 02:53 PM EDT
Five-star forward T.J. Leaf
UCLA seemed like a lock to land T.J. Leaf but after visiting Oregon it seems like they might have closed the gap. (Photo : Twitter Photo Section)
The recruitment of T.J. Leaf has been very interesting to follow since he de-committed from Arizona back in August. After Leaf announced he had de-committed most people assumed he would be headed to UCLA to play his college basketball and while that is still likely Oregon seems to be closing the gap a little bit. Leaf took his official visit to Oregon this past weekend and after it he cut his list of schools to three with Oregon and UCLA being among the finalists, according to Adam Zagoria of
The other school that remains an option for Leaf is San Diego State but he has only visited them unofficially and doesn't have an official scheduled. Leaf recently said that North Carolina and Louisville were taken out of consideration and that his visit to Oregon "couldn't have gone better for me." Leaf is still set to visit UCLA starting October 30th but now it seems like they might have their work cut out for them after Oregon made quite an impression.
UCLA has been the assumed favorite all along but Oregon has a lot to offer the five-star power forward. Head coach Dana Altman has done a tremendous job of building up the Ducks basketball program and he likes to play a fast style of basketball that gives his players freedom, something Leaf has said he prefers.
Another thing Altman and the Ducks have going for them is the fact that they already have a top ten recruiting class with three four-stars already committed so Leaf knows he will be joining a talented team. Getting a commitment from Leaf would likely push them up into the top five 2016 recruiting classes and would give Oregon their best recruiting class ever.
Leaf is ranked as the 13th best overall prospect and the third best power forward in the 2016 class, according to ESPN, and is viewed as a future NBA prospect. The El Cajon, California native can shoot the ball and finish above the rim and he is the type of recruit that can change a class.
Both schools Leaf is considering already have top ten classes but his choice will make one of them an option for best class in the nation unless he shocks everyone and chooses San Diego State. UCLA may still be the favorite but Leaf loved his visit to Oregon and has put pressure on the Bruins to at least match that when he visits them in a couple of weeks. It is unknown when Leaf will make his decision but the decision just got a whole lot more interesting.

Scout's #22 2016 prospect T.J. Leaf down to three

Scout's 22nd ranked 2016 prospect, power forward T.J. Leaf, has narrowed his school list to three. Where does the five-star go from here?
T.J. Leaf, a 6-foot-10, 205-pound 2016 power forward from El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian, is close to a decision after a couple official visits.
Leaf has narrowed his school list to UCLAOregon and San Diego State, his Compton Magic AAU coach Etop Udo-Ema said.
After his first official visit to Louisville on Oct. 2, Leaf visited Oregon this past weekend, which was a successful trip.

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Leaf is a highly skilled and coordinated big man who scores inside brilliantly with hooks yet also can step away and knock down a facing jump shot. He has good mobility as well, even if he isn't an explosive athlete. He'll need to get stronger but possesses outstanding touch and footwork and projects as an excellent college player.

"T.J. had a great visit to Oregon," Udo-Ema said. "He loved everything about it from the facilities, coaches and players."
The five-star prospect's third and final official visit will be to UCLA on Oct. 23 and he'll make a decision soon after.
“He’s been through the recruiting process enough now,” Udo-Ema recently told Scout. “He’ll commit soon after for sure. He’s not holding out. I would assume it will happen pretty fast after the last visit.”

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