Four-star forward Mario Kegler is down to five schools. MBA Hoops coach Omhar Carter told Scout Kegler has taken a trio of official visits and has two more scheduled.
“He’s down to his top five schools,” Carter said. “Mississippi State, Arizona State, Baylor and he’s getting ready to visit Maryland and then Indiana last. Those are the five that are in there.”
Last weekend Kegler took an official visit to Mississippi State, which also happens to be in his hometown.
“It was good,” Carter said. “But we’ve been to Mississippi State so many times it was just like staying at home. The thing about staying at Mississippi State for him is his family and everybody came. He probably had 50 people there directly there to cheer for him. The kids were walking by screaming his name since he’s from Mississippi.”
Kegler, who will play his final year of high school at Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill, took an official visit to Arizona State the weekend of September 19th. The Sun Devils are tied in with the talented prospect because of a long-standing relationship between him and assistant Brian Merritt.
“He has a huge respect for coach [Bobby] Hurley,” Carter said. “I think coach Hurley is going to be the fastest rising coaches in college basketball. Of course his relationship with Brian doesn’t hurt. But with any situation you want to have a relationship with the head coach. There’s only so much Brian can say and do.”
“Hurley is one of those guys that Mario feels like he can go into his office and sit down and talk about anything,” he added. “The name Bobby Hurley speaks for itself. He builds great relationships and that’s the most intriguing thing about Arizona State.”
Just following his trip to ASU, Kegler took a trip to Waco (Tex.) to visit Scott Drew and his staff.
“Baylor was great,” Carter said. “The coaching staff is second to none. It’s almost like they have seven head coaches. The way their campus is set up and the lack of distractions, he would be surrounded by good people at all times to make sure he’s getting up extra shots and getting in the weight room.”
Next up for Kegler is a visit to Maryland. He’s scheduled to visit the Terrapins this coming weekend and Carter said it’s the school Kegler knows the least about.
“It’s unfamiliar territory,” Carter said. “He’s most unfamiliar with Maryland and not in a bad way. Indiana, everyone is familiar with Indiana. Mississippi State is local. Baylor is right up the street. Arizona State has Brian Merritt. So Maryland is just the most unfamiliar. But they are the No. 1 team in the country so how can you not look at them?”
“His thing is early playing time,” Carter said. “Can he trust that he can go and have an impact at his position. That’s his biggest thing. He’s been to the other schools and there’s a need for him and he would play immediately. Is that there at Maryland? That’s what he’s looking for.”
Kegler will then close out the visit portion of his recruiting process the weekend of October 24th with a trip to Indiana. Carter said Kegler is intrigued by the Hoosiers, but has questions.
“Indiana is right there at the top,” Carter said. “Mississippi State has the hometown effect, but Indiana has the history. Indiana has the history and everything else. It’s a prestigious university. He has several questions about Indiana that he is going to personally ask. That visit is going to be very intriguing. There have been rumors about the coaching staff. There are just a lot of things that he’s going to ask and find out.”
Shortly after the IU visit, Kegler plans to narrow his list further and work towards making a college decision.
“The only thing is right after his last visit, we’ll cut that five down to three or two immediately,” he said. “Then we’ll give him until the period comes up we’ll cut it to two and then we’ll decide between the two.”