One on one with Marcus Lee

As one of the relative unknown prospects to enter the Spring evaluation period, Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley standout Marcus Lee had something to prove. Fast forward two weeks and the 6-foot-9, 230 pound big forward is collecting offers right and left…including one from Duke. TDD sat down with Lee to discuss his rise and the state of the recruiting process.

TDD: You're stock has blown up over the past couple of weeks, hasn't it? Was it surprising to have so much happening so fast?

Marcus Lee: Yeah blowing up like this is a surprise to me. I was just playing the way I always play. With fun. And it's very overwhelming but also extremely fun. Its an amazing thing to go through.

How are you determining what new schools you are going to listen to?

Right know I'm listening to everyone and what they have to say. Because I'm just enjoying the ride.

On the court you play with a very aggressive style, is that something you carry into your regular day to day life?

No, I don't eat, drink, and sleep basketball. It's like my teacher says: "doing the same thing with no change is the definition of insanity". I'm also a volleyball player. And some times you just need a break.

Did you grow up watching any particular teams or players, either college or pro? What attracted you to those teams or players?

I was brought up watch nothing but North Carolina and old school basketball like Larry bird, Jordan, Matumbo, with his 'get that out of here finger wag', and Magic.

In a recent interview you described yourself as a player who is willing to do the dirty work and that you enjoy playing defense and you like playing alongside other talented players. How did you arrive at that approach to the game?

I was always told that you can't win by yourself. So with those players that try to do it alone I don't understand. It can't hurt you to ask for help.

VCU was mentioned in several of the articles that have been written about you, can you share what you like about them? Is it Coach Smart who is personally recruiting you?

I see VCU just like my team, California Supreme. No one knew who they were. But they took that and created havoc in the world of college basketball. And that's what were going to do. We're the underdog that's not backing down to anyone and breaking down walls to show who we are. And I love that. Causing havoc on the court and to every team who watches them play. We are the best defensive team in the EYBL and we plan on keeping that tittle by playing together as one. That's what defense is: Buying in to playing together and no one else in the the league can say they can do it better. Well as much as I say for my first week .

So, what is VCU's main pitch to you?

Their pitch is always focused on defense, and that's what I really like, because I'm really into defense, playing together on defense, that's what I'm all about.

Are they talking with you about what Larry Sanders accomplished at VCU?

No, they haven't compared me to anybody, they are just talking to me like a friend primarily.

Is it Coach Smart primarily recruiting you or is it the assistants?

It's Coach Smart.

What's it like being recruited by Coach Smart?

You know it's not really like talking to a coach. Instead it was like talking to somebody like your brother, just somebody you are comfortable with.

Is anybody else recruiting you like that Marcus?

Not everybody is like that. Coach K is another one who is like that too.

Is there a difference in talking to Coach K and Coach Smart?

No, they are actually the same in ways. They both talk the same, because they are both really caring people.

Let's switch to Stanford, how in depth are you in the recruiting process with them?

Yeah, I really love Stanford, they are really close, they've always been so good to me. They have my transcripts and are looking at those.

How are things progressing in the recruiting process with Stanford?

Their recruitment is kinda tougher because there's a lot more stuff to go through, but it's just like other schools tough, just a couple extra steps to go through.

Being a West Coast guy, is there a desire to stay close to home?

I really don't care where I go. I want to go wherever the coach is going to make me feel at home and like I'm part of a family.

You mentioned previously that UNC is a school you grew up watching. What's it like for you having them watch you here in person Marcus?

It just makes me smile, I never knew this would happen, so it's really great you know ?

How much contact have you had with them so far?

Not a whole lot to be honest.

The offer came this week for you from Duke, can you talk what it's like for you being recruited by Duke and growing up a UNC fan?

I grew up hating Duke just because it's the Duke North Carolina thing, but now that I've talked with Coach K, I'm really learning more about Duke that I love. Coach K is a great guy.

What is Coach K saying to you on the phone when you've talked?

He's just telling me how much potential I have and how many great things I could do at Duke. He was saying he loved the way I play, he loves how I was always encouraging other people and to never stop doing that.

Having the Duke offer, is that something that merits them serious consideration?

Oh yeah most definitely.

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