Beal Chops Up The Competition

There was a time when it looked like Brad Beal would make an early decision. Now blowing up nationally and winning titles left and right, could the sophomore be slowing things down?

One thing is becoming pretty apparent when it comes to Brad Beal, the dude sure likes to win. After helping lead his team at Chaminade to a Missouri state title, the Saint Louis product has led his Saint Louis Eagles summer team into the finals of all four tournaments they've played in.

So far, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard and his teammates have captured two of those four championships and narrowly lost a third on a tough call in the final two seconds. Along with the wins, the sophomore has developed a reputation as one of the elite guard prospects in the class of 2011.

"I do like it," says Beal of the attention. "It encourages me to work harder and play harder than I usually do. It doesn't bother me really. I just deal with it."

Not surprisingly, the college coaches have come calling on him and Beal is doing the best he can to keep up with everybody. Shy by nature, calling big time college coaches from places like Florida, Kansas, Illinois, Purdue, Missouri, Texas and other schools isn't the easiest thing for him to do.

But, he knows he has to do it because everybody is so evenly packed on his list.

"It's really close," says Beal of the race to land him. "I try to talk to everybody at least once or twice a week."

One of those coaches that Beal has opened a line of communication is Florida's Billy Donovan. According to Beal, a great relationship with any potential future head coach of his is a must.

"It's real important," said Beal of developing a relationship with head coaches that are recruiting him. "I have to be able to talk to my coach a lot. I have to be able to talk about things that I can do on the court and what I can do and can't do off it. I do the best I can to develop a tight relationship with them."

Having already visited many of the schools on his list, Beal says that the visits have only made it harder to separate who he likes from who he doesn't.

"All of the schools, every time I visit they encourage each other to play hard and work hard," Beal told Fightin' Gators. "I really like that about all the teams recruiting me."

Originally expected to make a decision before the end of his sophomore year, Beal has pumped the brakes on his recruitment. He's got an opportunity to play for Team USA's 16 and under team coming up in June, and he wants to give all of the new schools trying to get involved a fair chance.

"I'll probably re-assess things," said of whether or not he'd still make an early pledge. "There's more schools coming at me and I feel like I need to take some time and think about it a bit more."

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