Oliver Emerges; Holds Four Offers

Melvin Oliver is a late target for a handful of high major schools. The talented big man currently holds four scholarship offers and has a few other schools checking in.

It would seem hard for a 6-foot-11, 340-pound center to go unnoticed for much of his career, but that's exactly what has happened with Jackson (Miss.) Mississippi Elite Christian Academy standout Melvin Oliver.

The big man had a productive season, averaging 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks a game for M.E.C.A, who went 20-5 on the season and lost in the championship of the NACA in Dayton (Tenn.).

"Melvin is a huge guy," M.E.C.A. coach Victor Evans said. "When I got Melvin he was probably 6-11 or 7-foot and 360 pounds. He's down to about 342 now. He works extremely hard and doesn't shy away from work."

"He's a great kid and a guy that can manage himself, so he'll be a low maintenance guy. He has great hands and great feet. He dominates on the low block and is very skilled. He shot 72-percent from the free throw line."

With the numbers he put up this year and his ability, Oliver has become a late target for a number of schools. Four schools even stepped up with scholarship offers -- Southern Miss, Nebraska, Baylor and Seton Hall.

"Those are the schools that have been recruiting him the hardest since December," Evans said. "Those are the ones that he's going to initially consider. Right now I'd say those are probably his top four schools."

Recently a few other schools have shown interest. UAB put in a call this week and USC has plans to watch Oliver in an open gym at the end of the week. He's also in the process of setting up visits.

"His father is here in Mississippi and he came in a couple days ago," Evans said. "He's going to monitor his conditioning program and talk to some of the schools and try to set up some visits with Melvin in the next couple of weeks."

Oliver won't make a decision until after he takes a few visits. He hasn't set a timetable for the visits or his decision.

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