The Right Fit

Desmond Lee

Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and his staff have offered a scholarship to New Mexico Junior College guard Desmond Lee, (6-4, 195), who is actually averaging more points than minutes played this season.

Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and his staff have targeted a junior college combo guard that could add some serious scoring punch to its roster next season.

New Mexico JC shooting guard Desmond Lee (6-4, 195) – who is averaging 22.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season – was offered by the Razorbacks last week according to his head coach James Miller.

"Arkansas did indeed offer him last week and have been out to see him two or three times in the last month," Miller said. "They seem very intrigued by him and he is certainly very interested in their situation."

That situation includes the possibility of filling a hole should current Razorback sophomore B.J. Young decides to declare for the NBA draft after this season.

"That is something that he is closely watching because if Young leaves that would be a spot on the roster that he feels he could certainly step in and fill right away," Miller said. "Like I said, he is certainly intrigued by Arkansas and thinks it might be a spot for him if Young does indeed leave."

Lee shined as a prep at Norfolk (VA) Booker T. Washington and then went on to Martinsville (VA) Heat Prep Academy before signing with Tim Floyd's UTEP program over Marquette, South Florida and Boston College.

He ended up at New Mexico JC, which is 16-2 this season and ranked 12th in the country heading into tonight's game with Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas.

Lee, who averaged 13.3 points last season for the Thunderbirds, is shooting 47 percent from the field (108-of-230) this season along with 38.9 percent (37-of-95) from 3-point range and 79.7 percent (110-of-138) from the free throw line.

"He has played great for us this season," Miller said. "He shoots the ball very well and can both knock down the three and get it to the rim because he is so physically strong. He shoots a lot of free throws.

"Some people like Auburn are recruiting him as a point guard and others as a shooting guard," Miller said. "I see him as more of a 2-1 than a 1-2, but he certainly has the ball skills to slide over and play point guard if needed. But he is such a good scorer that having him handle the ball would take away from that."

Evidence of his scoring ability is that he is averaging 22.7 point per game while only playing an average of 18 minutes per game on a loaded team.

He has been very consistent scoring in double figures every game with a high of 35 points against Otero Junior College and only one game of less than 18 points a game.

"He can really put up the points quickly as you can see and he is consistent game in and game out," Miller said.

Lee has over 30 offers including Arkansas, Auburn, Miami, UNLV, Creighton and Central Florida.

"He has so many offers but it's Arkansas, Auburn, Miami of Florida, Central Florida, Creighton and UNLV that he is the most interested in and the ones we talk about the most," Miller said.

He's also getting interest from Butler, Baylor, Georgia, Washington and Illinois among others.

Lee visited Colorado State and Duquesne in the early period and was schedule to visit Creighton and UNLV, but canceled those trips.

"It was his intention to sign early and have it over, but about two weeks before the signing date he decided to wait," Miller said. "He just didn't feel comfortable with getting it over with that quick and decided to wait. He has obviously gotten even more interest with how he has played this season."

That leaves him with three official visits left to take, which he plans to do after the season.

"He'll keep an eye out and see what happens with Young at Arkansas and what is going on with the other schools," Miller said. "He's going to concentrate right now on our season and then really start taking a look at where he wants to be."





Desmond Lee

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