2004 Sleeper: Drew Richards

Drew Richards made some strides with his game in the summer of 2003. The Logan-Rogersville High standout finished up July strong and as a result, his recruitment has taken off.

Drew Richards isn't a household name, not even amongst recruiting junkies. But, bring up his name in college basketball circles, and the astute college scout recognizes him as one of those kids who is on the rise.

So, how does a prospect go from having pre-summer offers from Southwest Missouri State, South Florida and Utah to receiving 50 new phone calls the first day colleges could contact him?

"I don't know," Richards said. "I didn't even think I played as well as I thought I could have in Orlando. I thought I played better in Denton."

Richards began the summer with the St. Louis Eagles, but he didn't finish with them.

"When I played with the Eagles I didn't really play as much. It kind of pushed me to work on my game and get better. On the Eagles I was more of a role player; hustle and get rebounds. On the Rockets, I was more of the scorer and the rebounder. The last three years I've been with the Rockets and I always believed that you need to finish what you started so that's what I did."

While playing with the Springfield Rockets, Richards drew scholarship offers from Colorado, Arkansas, Tulsa, Marquette, Utah and Texas Tech. "There's some more but I just can't think of them right now."

As if he wasn't busy enough in July, Richards did some traveling in early August. "Last week I took [an unofficial visit] to Tulsa and on Wednesday I took one to Arkansas. They went fine. I like both coaches. Coach Phillips and Coach Heath are great; they know what they're doing. Arkansas is like a bigger Tulsa. I brought my mom to Tulsa and took my dad to Arkansas."

Even with the visits, Richards is in the research phase of his recruitment. "Most of the colleges send me media guides so I can look over the university. It's a process and we're doing some research on schools.

"Jerry Mullins gave good advice. He said whatever level you're getting recruited by; maybe you should go a level below that."

Well, there are some high-major programs hoping he doesn't do that.

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