ASU Eyes Local Hoops Recruit

While there have been several 2004 recruits from the state of Arizona that have done a good job of establishing a name for themselves this year, the player that has perhaps helped himself more than any other is Mesa high school's Lee Cummard. DevilsDigest spoke with Cummard recently about his plans for the near future, and how much of a factor the hometown Sun Devils figure to be in his recruitment.

Already 18 years old as a high school junior, local prospect Lee Cummard plans to spend another two years after graduation next summer on an LDS church mission. While this decision means that Cummard will likely be 21 years old before he ever plays in a game at the college level, it's something that he's not particularly worried about, saying, "From the colleges that I've talked to, they've said they're totally fine with it and they just want (to recruit) me anyway."

The time away from the game may eventually prove to be beneficial for Cummard, who, at 6'6, weights a mere 165 pounds, and has some natural physical development ahead of him. "I need to get in the weight room," Cummard says with a hint of sarcasm after revealing his weight, "but I'm sure I'll get bigger (in the coming years)."

While adding size over the next few years may be somewhat of a concern, there's little doubt that Cummard already possesses court skills that are considerably above average for a player who is just coming off his junior year season. Not only is Cummard known for his deadly shooting touch, but he reportedly possesses ball and court skills that are well advanced for a player who spends his floor minutes exclusively on the wing. Another thing that Cummard has built his reputation on is his "floor-burn" mentality. He's known for his hustle and all-out effort and intensity on both ends of the court.

Universities throughout the West are beginning to take notice this spring as Cummard has performed very well at several prominent AAU events open to coaches, including most recently the Las Vegas Easter Classic. April is big in the recruiting world, with most of the month declared "open" on the NCAA calendar. This means college coaches are not only able to watch certain sanctioned events, but also call recruits directly and make in-person school visits.

Arizona State is one such university that stopped in to see Cummard last month at school, a visit that was appealing to him considering the intriguing possibility of playing in front of family and a hometown crowd. Of the visit Cummard said, "Coach Pennell came down to the school (recently) and we talked for a little bit and that was about it. I would love to play at ASU, I guess, you know its close, it's Pac-10 level –that's a high level- stay close to home. My Mom would really like that."

Besides ASU, schools that have visited or contacted Cummard recently include New Mexico, Utah, USC, Oregon State, Washington, Santa Clara and Northern Arizona. The only high major that has offered him thus far is New Mexico, according to Cummard. Don't expect a decision anytime soon however as Cummard has a design on playing out the recruiting process to his advantage, and taking all 5 official visits is a strong possibility, with a late spring signing not necessarily out of the question. "I've been told I'd be crazy if I don't take all 5 (official visits).

With several West Coast evaluators now saying that Cummard has the potential to be a standout player at the high major level, this is a situation that bears some resemblance to that of another Arizona high school star wing forward, Brett Collins. Last summer Collins, a 2003 prospect, turned himself into a major name in the West almost overnight at the Las Vegas Bigtime and received several high major offers, before selecting St. Mary's in a bit of a surprise. It seems as though Lee Cummard may be already ahead of the curve set by Collins last year.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories