Pickens' stock is on the rise

The overall talent level of the 2014 recruiting class may be one of the highest that the state of Arizona has ever seen. Phoenix Pinnacle High School standout, Dorian Pickens, is one shining example of that group. The guard was recently re-ranked by Scout.com as a four-star prospect which will only aid recruitment in this month's July evaluation period.

The 6-4 200-pound Dorian Pickens is rated no. 16 among all shooting guards in his class. Arizona State indentified this local talent last year early in the process and last summer was the first school to offer him a scholarship.

"I speak a lot to Coach Sendek and we have a good relationship," Pickens said. "So everything is going great with recruiting and they are recruiting me hard because of the proximity. The program has a great coaching staff personality wise and coaching wise, and it would be a good school to play for because friends and family could watch me play a lot and I do have a lot of support here."

As a sophomore for the 30-4 Pioneers, Pickens averaged 13.7 ppg and 5.7 rpg, and shot at a 66 percent clip from the field, as well as 47.9 percent from three-point range and 83 percent from the line.

"The (ASU) coaches said that they liked my versatility as a player," Pickens commented. "I can knock down the jumper and also finish at the rim. I'm also a physical guard who plays good defense. They also liked how hard I play and that I have good character, and that is the type of player they want on their team."

Boston College, New Mexico, Rice and Northern Arizona have all offered. Pickens mentioned that Arizona, Stanford, Indiana, Louisville and West Virginia were all keeping in close contact and will follow him throughout the evaluation period.

"I want to play well in these tournaments and maximize my exposure to all the coaches who come and watch me play," Pickens stated. "I definitely have high expectations of myself and I'm looking forward to a great July playing against great competition."

As mentioned, Pickens is one of many talented in-state 2014 recruits who have already garnered considerable attention in recent months and are poised to pad their offer sheet even more in the upcoming weeks. The Phoenix Pinnacle standout said that he does keep in contact with his fellow local prospects, and added that the thought of playing close to home together did cross his mind.

"But at the same time we all have to do what is best for each of us," Pickens remarked. "We have to find the best fit. If it's locally here then great, if not so be it."

As Pickens expects to receive increased recruiting attention in the weeks and months to come, the guard has no plans to announce his commitment until next year as he evaluates all of his suitors, takes visits to some of those programs and sorts out all of his options.

"I definitely want to go to a school which has great academics," Pickens said. "That will be my first priority. I want to go to a great basketball program with a great coaching staff that has a way of bettering players for the next level. That's my main goal after college – to play in the NBA."

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