During the summer, Mario Little emerged as one of the premier recruits in the junior college ranks. After a strong freshman season at Marianna (FL) Chipola and a great summer, the 6-5 native of Chicago has become one of the most highly sought after wings in the country.
With schools from all over the country showing interest, Little narrowed things down to Illinois, Kansas and Kansas State early. Despite narrowing his choices to just three, Little says that keeping up with the attention being paid to his recruitment has been tough at times.
“I think I could do without it, it was cool in the beginning but it’s kind of hard now,” said Little of all the attention he’s received. “I have to do a lot at school and I’m getting calls during class and then I’ve got to return all of them as best I can and still get my stuff done. It can be really tough at times.”
Over the weekend, Little took his first official visit when he hopped on a plane and made the trip to Lawrence to check out Bill Self’s Kansas program.
“It was good, I enjoyed the whole time I was down there,” Little told Phog.Net. “I went to coach’s house and ate real good during the visit. The players were real cool, we went out and that was a lot of fun.”
According to the Little, the Kansas staff sees him as a guy who could provide minutes right away.
“They say that I can come in and play right away and impact the team,” said Little. “I guess they think that I could do real good for them because of my versatility.”
Versatile, is probably the best way to describe the powerful wing’s game. Playing against junior college competition and for a loaded program like Chipola has also allowed Little to add more confidence.
“Scoring and rebounding are my strengths, I think I rebound real well. I’ve got a sense of where the ball comes off the rim and then I’m able to score from all over,” said Little.“ I can handle it better and I can shoot it better than in high school. I’ve got a lot more confidence in my shot and I’m stronger so that really helps.”
With his visit to Kansas out of the way, Little says that he’s still planning to take his visits to Kansas State and Illinois. However, he knows that he’ll have to look for the little things to separate each experience.
“Visits are always going to be kind of the same, they are going to wine you and dine you wherever you go,” said Little. “I just have to do my best to compare the experiences to each other, like what was different and what I liked, and decide which place is the best.”
A decision should come shortly after the completion of his visits and Little says he’ll listen to his heart when making a final choice.
“It’s just what I feel in my heart. If after all of this I think Kansas is where I need to be, it will be Kansas. If it’s that way for Kansas State or Illinois I’ll go there,” said Little. “I’m looking for the best situation to prepare me for the next level and graduate.”