09 Guard Pops Up On The Radar

While bolstering the front court appears to be the top priority in the class of 2008, the Blue Devils have already identified targets in the current junior and sophomore classes as potential back court additions. One such player is Tennessee standout Leslie McDonald.

Over the weekend at the Boo Williams Invitational event in Hampton, Va., Leslie McDonald was the most recognizable talent for Memphis YOMCA. Throughout his team's four games McDonald showed off the versatility that has several programs salivating.

"I can do a lot of things on the court aside from scoring. I like getting steals, going to the basket, getting rebounds, and that kind of thing. I like being the type of guard that a coach can ask me to do a lot of things. I don't want to play the kind of selfish game that can take my teammates out of their game. I want to do what it takes for my team to win."

For a sophomore guard that's already measuring north of 6-foot-3, that kind of maturity and versatility is enough to have several high major programs interested early on.

Schools such as Memphis, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi have already offered scholarships, while several others such as Duke, Connecticut, Florida, and LSU are also recruiting him.

"Right now I'm getting a lot of mail from all over. I am just starting [the recruiting process], but Memphis and Tennessee have sent a lot of stuff. I'm also hearing from a number of others. Duke has been sending a lot of letters and questionaires - things like that."

Though he's clearly a high major recruit, there isn't much of a chance that McDonald won't keep a level head throughout the coming months and years of the process thanks to the lessons that have been instilled in him for many years.

"My dad is really disciplined, and he's taught me the value of hard work and accountability. He's always working on my game with me - pushing me to get better every day."

Disciplined execution is just one of the things that Leslie lists as a positive when he looks at the Blue Devils' program.

"I try to pay real close attention to how coaches coach their team and run their programs. I am really attracted to Coach K's disciplined approach to building his team and his program."

Currently McDonald is rated as a four star prospect in the class of 2009 by Scout's Dave Telep. Over the weekend, the sophomore earned the following evaluation from the Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst:

Basketball purists will respect and admire his approach to the game. He doesn't need the ball to look like a player. He'll post up, stick mid-range shots and navigate the court with savvy beyond his sophomore years. He won't wow observers with huge numbers (that's not his personality out here) but he'll win over anyone who professes to be an affectionado of the game. McDonald picks his spots, takes his medicine on drives and adds to the team element when he's on the court.


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