Sleeper Hoops Prospect Accepts Auburn Offer

Auburn has picked up its second men's basketball verbal.

Columbia, S.C.--Auburn picked up its second verbal men's basketball commitment for the early signing period in November from a sleeper prospect in the backyard of the University of South Carolina.

Northeast Richland High coach Jason Powell says that 6-6 senior Lucas Hargrove will sign with the Tigers, picking Auburn over Nevada and Tennessee State.

Auburn had prior verbal commitment for the November signing period from 6-4 guard Kelvin Lewis from North Crowley High in Forth Worth, Tex. The Tigers, who are expected to sign just two players in November, were expected to use a scholarship slot for a big man.

Hargrove, who visited the Auburn campus this weekend on an official visit, was not offered a scholarship by the Gamecocks or any other SEC schools. He got an offer from Coach Jeff Lebo on his trip to AU.

Hargrove picked Auburn over the University of Nevada and Tennessee State. He took recruiting visits to both of those colleges.

"It basically came down between Auburn and Nevada, but I always wanted to play in the SEC growing up," Hargrove says. "They want me to come in at the three or the two and be a big point guard."

Hargrove averaged 13.1 points and seven points per game as a junior, his first year as a starter at Northeast Richland.

"He plays inside for us, but I am not sure where he will play in college," says Powell, who notes that he believes Hargrove can develop into an SEC caliber player with hard work. "Some college coaches believe he will be able to play guard because he handles the ball well."

Powell says to be successful at the next level his senior will need to improve his shooting, strength and consistency.

Hargrove says, "I play everything at Northeast. When I get to Auburn I can focus on my position. I'm really a wing player. I consider myself to be a wing player."

The high school senior notes the visit to Auburn this past weekend convinced him Auburn is the right place for him. "Coach Lebo is a great fella. The campus is real nice and when I met the players, they've got so many freshmen that he recruited last year. They're going to be real good."

As a junior, he started for a 22-4 team that reached the quarter-finals of the state playoffs.

"He is a versatile player who plays inside for us, but in college he will probably a swingman (guard/forward) who may even be a point guard," Powell says. "Lucas handles the ball well."

Despite not getting attention from other SEC programs, Powell says he believes that Hargrove has the potential to be successful at Auburn. "He can do that, but he has several things he needs to work on," the coach notes. "He needs to put on some weight. He weighs about 185 now.

"He also needs to improve on the consistency of his outside jump shot. He is not bad at that, but he needs to be more consistent."

Hargrove started for a 22-4 team that reached the quarter-finals of the state playoffs as a junior. As a sophomore, he was his team's sixth man. Hargrove plays basketball year-around and plays AAU ball for the South Carolina Ravens.

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