Recruiting Steady for Sneed

St. Louis area wing Xavier Sneed holds a handful of offers, including Illinois, but is taking the process in stride.

One of many talented players on the St. Louis Eagles EYBL team, Xavier Sneed is constantly working hard to be the best player he can for his team. One thing he takes a lot of pride in is his defense.

"My shooting ability is getting better,” he said. "Teams are starting to respect my shot a lot more now. I’ve been working on my defense. I want to be able to stick the other team’s best offensive player.”

Sneed is a very athletic prospect with a great frame. In addition to his skill on the hardwood, He doubles as a wide receiver at Hazelwood, which he believes has improved his grit on the court. It’s likely, though, that his future only involves basketball.

"I don’t know about football right now,” he said. "I’m still debating that. But it taught me toughness and willingness to take a hit going to the basket. It’s helped me out a lot."

Sneed admitted that he felt much more raw as a basketball player just one year ago. But the time he has spent in the gym has transformed his game, and he feels far more natural now.

"I’m way more comfortable handling the ball,” he said. "I almost felt like a big man when I was handling the ball last year but now I feel more like a guard."

Playing with some of the top players in the midwest on his EYBL team has allowed Sneed to get more open looks and do what he feels comfortable with in his offensive sets.

"My slashing opens up a lot,” he said. "I can get to spots and get to the hoop. Plus when I get to the hoop it opens up things for my shot, too."

Having that freedom to create off the catch with the ball in his hands is something Sneed feels could suit him well in college, too.

"I think that ball screen offense would fit me well,” he said. "I like coming off of ball screens because it gives you options."

Sneed’s most recent offer came from Illinois during his high school season, but recruiting isn’t on the back burner for him by any means. He plans to narrow things down in a couple months.

"I’m thinking about picking my top 5 around august,” Sneed said. "I’m going to sit down with my parents and figure all that out."

Since the offer, Sneed’s relationship with the Illinois coaches has grown.

"They’re really cool,” he said. "I’m really starting to get to know them a lot better. We’re taking things steady right now though."

On top of Illinois, Sneed is hearing from a handful of other schools within the Midwest. No school is a lock to get a visit yet, though.

"I’m also hearing a lot from Kansas State, Xavier, Creighton, and a lot of others,” he said. "I’m not sure on any school I’ll definitely visit right now."

On top of the usual academics, Sneed is looking for a strong connection with his coaches.

"Academics, of course,” he said. "The player coach relationship and how the players interact with the players is a key thing. I’ll probably sign in November during the early period."

Illini Inquirer Top Stories