Good Shooting Guard Picks Lebo's Tigers

Auburn's Jeff Lebo has picked up another verbal men's basketball commitment.

Knoxville, Tenn.--Auburn coach Jeff Lebo has picked up his second verbal commitment for the 2010 men's basketball signee class from a 6-2 shooting guard from Fulton High School.

Jalen Steele, who helped his high school team to back-to-back state titles as a sophomore and junior, joins 6-7 Heath Houston from Powder Springs, Ga., as commitments to Lebo's program.

"I took an official visit to Auburn over the weekend and it went great," Steele tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I love the environment and the people down there are great. I committed to Auburn and I am finished with recruiting."

Steele, who says he is currently 6-3, 190 pounds, notes that he averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and close to five assists per game last season.

"Coach Lebo showed me around campus and I really like the new arena," Steele says. "I like everything that is going on around Auburn. I like the situation with the team, too. Coach Lebo told me I could get playing time when I get down there. I have to work for that though.

"The academic program is really good and I really like that," Steele adds. "My momma liked that, too, and so did my uncle. Everything went well on the visit. I really enjoyed it."

Commenting on the other colleges he considered, Steele says, "The others were Alabama, Georgia, Western Kentucky and Marshall. Western Kentucky and Marshall have offered, but Alabama and Georgia hadn't offered. I not interested in waiting because I want to go to Auburn."

The basketball player says he enjoyed watching Auburn's opening night football victory over Louisiana Tech. "I loved the environment," he says.

Steele's high school coach, Jody Wright, watched the guard make 100 three-pointers last season on the way to a second straight state title as Steele was named Class 2A State Tournament MVP. With the guard leading the way, his team has a 58-8 record the past two season.

"He is a heck of a basketball player and a heck of a kid," Wright says. "He is a humble, hard-working, fun to coach young man. I think those are some of the keys to his success. He is a gym rat always looking to improve.

"As far as him being a shooter, there is not a better one in the state of Tennessee," Wright adds.

The coach notes that his player had a "ton of offers from mid-majors." He adds, "There were really too many to mention. I know that this month he was scheduled to visit both Western Kentucky and Alabama."

Charlie Benson, Steele's AAU coach, says that Auburn is getting a good prospect. "I know Coach Lebo and Jalen is the type of player he likes–a tough kid who is a real good shooter. Jalen shoots the ball really well from three-point range and is a real good kid."

Dave Telep, director of basketball scouting from agrees with Steele's coaches that the Tigers are getting a good shooter. "He has good range," Telep points out.

Former Auburn assistant coach Mike LaPlante, a recruiting analyst for, notes that he has seen Benson play a good bit and thinks the Tigers are wise to sign the guard. "I give kudos to Coach Jeff Lebo. This is a kid who has a lot of toughness, can really shoot it and knows how to play the game. He is a high major minus prospect with a chance to be rated higher as he continues to improve. He is a kid who makes better than 40 percent of his three-pointers and that is impressive."

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