RECRUITING: Fall Curve? UK lands visit with 'Cris'

Recruiting guru Dave Telep's reaction to the news of Leo Criswell's scheduled official visit to Kentucky quite possibly could say it all -- <p>

"Wow."

Much has been made about the talented athletic forward coming in to Lexington this weekend, but it's not because of the type of player he is. It's the timing. The talented 6-foot-8 forward allegedly was all but set to sign with UNLV according to another media source, but instead decided to throw the unexpected curve.

"Leo Criswell is an athletic combo forward who is most comfortable on the perimeter," Scout.com national basketball analyst Dave Telep said. "He's bounced around a bit from the spring through the fall and has, on occasion, been really good."

The athletic forward has seen his stock, and his game, rise after a summer showcase that moved him from the bottom of the Top 100 rankings to the outside the top 50. His frame, but most importantly - his athleticism - has impressed scouts and colleges, alike. His biggest flaw coming off his junior season has been his range and his desire.

"He's also been slightly inconsistent," Telep continued. "And that's a trait that he's got to get out of his game."

That led, for the most part, to his departure from Piper High School in Kansas to Coastal Christian Acadmemy in Virginia Beach.

"He's long, lanky and athletic -- Criswell is a very appealing prospect," IC's Clint Jackson stated on Criswell. "He likes to face up, good jump shooter, can collect some blocks with his length. Has explosion but seldom uses it. Range out to the arc. Nice touch from the baseline, mid-range, basically everywhere else, too."

"Potential wise -- big time kid, here. No doubt about it."

'Cris' currently holds offers from St. Johns and UNLV. He did, at one time, hold an offer from Miami and had heavy interest from Connecticut, Kansas and North Carolina

"Tubby is still searching for that athletic power forward and Criswell certainly fits that bill."

As a junior, the 6-foot-8 forward, averaged over 18 points and 10 rebounds against very poor competition in Kansas City.

"(Coastal Christian) has given me a chance to get better," Criswell told Scout.com in the Fall. "Much better competition and more playing time."

Criswell, however, still has a chip on his shoulder from this summer, after not see his college recruitment pick up despite several highlight performances. Several in front of the elite college coaches at the ABCD Camp in July.

``It's surprising and it hurts my feelings," Criswell said. "I took it that I have to work harder so I can show people I'm one of the top players in the country."

``I'm just looking to play ball," Criswell added. "I want to play up and down and show people I'm more of a three. I'm not trying to be a four-man. Right now people think I'm going to be a tweener, but I'm not trying to be a tweener."

Criswell could be Kentucky's versatile power forward - ala Bobby Perry - that it covets so bad with the departure of Chuck Hayes.

"Criswell's athleticism has been well documented," Telep said. "And he has great potential in the future."


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