Baxter recruitment heating up
Given his ranking of 56th in Scout’s 2016 rankings, it’s no surprise that we’re optimistic about the future of 6-foot-8, 185-pound Provo (Utah) Timpview power forward Gavin Baxter. Since last seeing the four-star junior over July, word is that Baxter has done nothing but improved. “He’s becoming a better three-point shooter,” said Tim Davis, who coaches Baxter on the Utah Prospects. “I’ve been at workouts where he’s made 15 to 20 threes in a row. “His ball handling is coming around and I think he’ll be able to play both small forward positions in college. He’s doing a lot of plyometric work and his lateral movements are getting a lot better. “He’s changed his game since the summer. He can now stretch out and consistently hit outside shots while he can also handle the ball in traffic.” Baxter has hosted several of the West Coast’s top programs over the last couple of months, with some schools recruiting him pretty hard right now. “He really likes the Arizona State and BYU staffs,” Davis said. “Oregon State is coming into see him, Oregon came in and likes him and Gonzaga likes him. Cal is a player also; they’ve done a good job with him. Arizona and UCLA are going to come in and see him.” Even though both of Baxter’s parents were athletes at BYU, his coach says he’s by no means a lock to stay home. “I think it’s a unique deal,” Davis said. “His family has ties to BYU, but Gavin is a free-spirited kid and he’s going to make the decision he wants to make.” As he goes through the process, Baxter will spend a lot of time getting to know the coaches recruiting him. “I think he’ll be looking for a school where he’s most comfortable with the coaching staff,” said Davis. “He really needs to be comfortable with the head coach. I don’t think what conference matters. Of course he wants to play at the highest level possible, but if he’s comfortable with the coaching staff, I think that’s going to be a big deal.” Baxter, who will go on an LDS mission directly out of high school, likely won’t take too long before making a decision. “I would say spring or summer,” Davis said. “I think he would like to make it through high school season but he could be a spring decision.”
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