Top-rated Shooting Guard Serious about BYU

Top BYU basketball prospect <b>Lee Cummard</b> was recently ranked the No. 1 shooting guard prospect in the west by Insiders.com fulltime basketball recruiting analysts <b>Tracy Pierson</b> and <b>Greg Hicks</b>.

In an Aug. 12 article on Insiders.com, they noted that "with a number of high major prospects at the position, the shooting guards in the west are a fairly strong group.

"The shooting guard position is strong at the top, with a number of high major prospects. Cummard wasn't seen by many people, as he played on a fairly low-profile team, but he's the best all-around prospect at the position."

They continued: "He's got the whole package in terms of skills, but he also plays with great intensity and competitiveness… He's as athletic as anyone in the group and you have a clear-cut choice for the top player at the position," Pierson and Hicks noted.

In an interview with TotalBlueSports.com, the 6-8 Cummard confirmed he spoke recently to former BYU great Danny Ainge, who spoke well of BYU.

"He had really good things to say about BYU. I was able to ask him questions about playing in the NBA; about playing with great players like (Larry) Bird and (Kevin) McHale. He had a lot of good stories and it was a lot of fun."

Noting he has received about 10 scholarship offers, including BYU, Cummard confirmed he has scheduled his official recruiting visit to BYU for Sept. 20.

"I'll be going to the Stanford football game while up there (in Provo). Oregon State is penciled in, but I'm not sure on the date yet. I'm not sure if I'll go on a third trip or not, Cummard said.

BYU has been recruiting Cummard aggressively for some time. Asked whether he had spent much time with head coach Steve Cleveland or other coaches, he said, "I haven't got to spend time with them. I can't wait to for the trip to get to meet them and get to spend time with them. It's different in person than on the phone. It should be fun."

Cummard plans to leave for an LDS mission immediately after high school. Recognizing that missionaries are not given choices where they are called to serve, he joked "Australia would be cool. Maybe Hawaii – not cold or at least not super cold. I'll leave right out of high school. I'm really looking forward to being a missionary.

Even as he weighs different scholarship offers from Iowa State, Arizona State, BYU, New Mexico, Utah and others he couldn't recall at the time, Cummard said he plans to sign a binding Letter of Intent in November, during the early signing period.

He said the recruiting process has been "fun but it's hard. My family enjoys it a lot more than me. It's awesome, I guess. Knowing the hard work has paid off and college ball is close to being a reality. What I don't like is thinking about it all the time. It'll be a relief when the recruiting part is over. Overall, it's fun.

"I want to get it over with and concentrate on my season. This should be a great season. I'm really looking forward to my senior year. I can't wait to get it going. 10-12 schools call on a weekly basis. Utah, BYU, ASU, Oregon State, Utah State, UCLA, Stanford and Oregon are the schools that call the most."

Cummard, a senior at Mesa High School this year, discussed his relationship with his five brothers.

"It was awesome (growing up). My brothers are my best friends. I'm the baby of the family and they kind of protect me. Two of them played in high school. We had some mini-battles out on the family court that really helped in developing my game. I've got a great family and that's really helpful and a great blessing," he said.

Cummard said his role models are "my brothers and my dad, without a doubt," adding "a close family friend named Mike Dillard is like a brother to me. He played college ball at Sam Houston State. He helps me with questions with the recruiting and basketball in general.

He added his high school team is shooting for a state title this year. "We've got a great team and I get to play with great teammates. There many great friends on the team and at school. It should be a fun senior year."

While other youth relax during their summer breaks, Cummard continues to practice and play more basketball games. "I've probably played over 100 games this summer, maybe even more. In my free time, I've worked on my shooting and dribbling a lot. I love basketball, so it's easy to work on my game.

In the final analysis, Cummard said his college decision will be based on "who I'll be around. That's the No. 1 thing. Basketball atmosphere is important. Coaches are important. You spend so much time with these people and I want to be around people I'll be comfortable with."

Asked whether Utah holds any special appeal to him, he responded, "I've got a couple of cousins in Utah and one at BYU. I've been to a General Conference Priesthood session in Salt Lake City. I was there for the (Rick) Majerus camp this summer. I haven't spent a lot of time in Utah, but the weather has always been nice when I have been there."

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