Decision On The Horizon
Two years ago when the NCAA mandated that official visits by juniors could take place after January of their junior year, a few took advantage of the policy change, but mainly that was done in the spring.
Branson senior center Steven Hill, a junior, has taken full advantage of the new rules change. To date, his three official visits are the most we've ever heard of this early in a prospect's junior year. Having seen the campuses of Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas, we think Hill could reach a decision as early as in the next week. His high school coach gives another timetable.
"I think they are trying to shoot for four weeks," Branson coach Jeff Strickler said. "Early March. April would be an outside date for sure." Again, our sources think the decision could come even sooner.
Strickler said that Hill has really been diligent in his research of the schools and will be well-informed and ready to make an educated decision. "I think for a kid who has done the research and done the work and getting to know the programs by observing them, I think it's OK [to decide early]. He's done his homework on the schools."
Strickler said Hill isn't just thinking basketball. "I think education is his first concern. After that I think he just wants to play for a program that has a lot to offer and I think he's got that in those three. He likes all three of the head coaches. Whatever choice he makes he's going to be in a great program."
This year, Hill is averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds and 6 blocks. He missed all of the summer circuit last year with an injury. He'll play with the Arkansas Wings this year. Many, including us, on the national scene, have yet to see him. So, what's he play like, coach?
"He's an athlete first and foremost. He's 6-11, maybe 7-0. He has a 29-inch vertical and squats around 400-500 pounds. He's physical and has great anticipation skills. I think he's a defensive player first but his offense is coming along really strong. He had 11 dunks in our second to last game."
We intend to keep close tabs on Hill and his decision in the coming weeks.