Livingston Nearing The End

It's been a while since the nation's top prep floor general has been in the news due to the three-week hiatus he's taking between official visits. However after putting the recruiting process effectively on hold for the first half of the month, the end is drawing closer as three fan bases wait with great anticipation.

After visiting North Carolina and then Duke in late September, Peoria point guard Shaun Livingston has only to visit Arizona and Illinois before making his college decision at the end of this month. This weekend he'll make the trip to the desert to visit with the Wildcats, followed by next weekend's short trip to Champaign to visit with the Illini.

"I'm looking forward to visiting with both Arizona and Illinois," said Livingston. "I'm going to Arizona with one of my friends and I have some friends from AAU that play at Illinois now. At both places it will be good to see what kind of relationship I can develop with the coaches and the guys there."

After eliminating North Carolina due to a scholarship crunch, Livingston is down to just Duke as the remaining finalist for his services. After taking his official visit to Durham, and hosting the coaching staff for an in-home it seemed is up to the Blue Devils to put in any future appearances with Livingston. So, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistant Chris Collins visited Peoria in early October.

"Coach K and I had a really good visit when he came to the open gym. We just talked about my upcoming season and what he wants me to work on throughout the year. He thinks I can become more dominant and just get better all around. He challenged me to be aggressive throughout the season. It's a lot of responsibility when Coach K makes a challenge like that, but I am going to work hard."

Indeed Livingston has rededicated himself to preparing himself for the upcoming season thanks to a new work out regiment that includes more running and stamina training.

"I need to be able to play hard every second I am on the floor. I need to be aggressive on offense and defense to be successful."

Once the visits are history, Livingston says he will take a few days and make his decision within a week. That places a likely announcement around November 1, but will he sign a national letter of intent in November or will he wait until April?

"I'm definitely going to sign in November. That way it's official and I can put it all behind me and focus on my senior season."

And has any program separated itself from the pack at this point?

"Right now I'd say Duke is really strong with both me and my family. I think we are all comfortable with them, but that's why you take your visits. I've said all along I want to see all the schools so that I can make the best decision for me."

After making his choice, the fans of that particular program will then be left to sweat Livingston's decision on the jumping early to the NBA. However he's not exactly sold on making the jump as soon as many analysts believe.

"I hear people saying I'm going straight out of high school, but they don't know me. Right now I'm going through my season and I'll stay aware of the NBA, but my focus is on going to college. The NBA is a dream of mine, but it's a long term dream. If I am not ready either mentally or physically then I won't be able to accomplish much when I get there. I know that and so my focus is on going to college and preparing myself to accomplish all my goals and dreams."

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