Basketball Player Checking AU, Others recruiting analyst Dave Telep writes about a prospect looking at the Auburn Tigers.

Central City, Ky.--Patrick Sparks makes his first official visit this weekend since announcing his transfer from Western Kentucky. The all-conference point guard is visiting Oklahoma State.

Since announcing his transfer from Western Kentucky, Sparks has been on the minds of plenty schools. The hard-nosed sophomore was released by the school, but wasn't granted an unconditional release. He appealed the decision.

"I had my appeal hearing for the restricted schools," Sparks said. "I can go anywhere."

Patrick Sparks

Western Kentucky's release stipulated that he couldn't play for anyone on the Hilltoppers 2003-04 schedule including schools like Louisville and Georgia. However, he can look into both of those programs now.

Sparks said he may visit North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Auburn and Louisville. He has not spoken yet to Georgia. Louisville and Kentucky, in-state schools, have been discussed a teams that have a good chance to get him. "I was supposed to have a meeting, but I haven't talked to Coach Smith (Kentucky coach Tubby Smith)," he said. "I think they're in the mix. I think they've been talking to my dad some."

Depending on the school, Sparks says he is feeling varying degrees of pressure to make his selection. "On some of these schools I can take my time. On some others, they're kind of pushing. I'd say I'll make my decision within the next month."

Sparks, 6-1, 185, earned first team All-Sun Belt Conference honors last season as a sophomore. He averaged 13.3 points, 5.9 assists and made a school record 84 three-point field goals. He has hit 39.3 percent of his three-pointers for his career, the third best total in Western Kentucky history. He was a Sun Belt All Freshman Team pick in 2001-2002.

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