JOHN: Perry Stevenson lines up the suitors

KSR spoke with Perry Stevenson and his AAU coach Dexter Washington at the Kingwood Classic last Saturday evening. Coach Washington broke down Stevenson's stengths and weaknesses and we have an updated list of schools involved in his recruiting process.

Kentucky is one of a number of schools that are lining up to get a visit with Perry Stevenson, and for good reason. The 6-foot-9 forward from Northside High School in Lafayette, La. played very impressively at times at the Kingswood Tournament in Houston.

"Perry is an outstanding player," said coach Dexter Washington of the AAU Louisiana Stars. "At 6-foot-9 he is tall but his wingspan is that of a player 7-foot to 7-foot-2. He's a great shot blocker and has a very solid inside game."

Stevenson used his height and reach advantage frequently at the Kingwood Tournament. Even against tall players, Stevenson would receive the ball in the post, hold it high overhead, turn and loft a short jumper for a score. He was also excellent at tipping offensive rebounds.

"The other good thing about Perry is that he has a great deal of versatility," Washington said, "He can bring the ball up the court. He can pull up and shoot the three. He is a good outlet passer. This is a young man that can play all three front line positions. As a coach, you love players like Perry Stevenson."

What he isn't, however, is built very strong. To say Stevenson is slim would be an understatement. "Yes, he does need to bulk up a little," Washington admitted, "but that will come." Perry is listed at 190 lbs but that seems generous.

Stevenson said he currently has no leader for his services, "I will wait until my visits to really start thinking about this. I am setting visits up soon."

Stevenson listed Texas Tech, Texas, LSU, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Baylor. When coach Washington heard the schools Stevenson had mentioned, he added that Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State have also expressed interest then concluded, "Baylor is really hot after Perry. They really want him badly."

Coach Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech and assistant coaches from Texas Tech and Baylor were in attendance one of his games at least. Kentucky assistant Reggie Hanson was also in attendance at one game for certain.

So what does Perry need to work on?

"He needs to become more offensive minded," Washington said, "He needs to really want the ball in clutch situations. He plays so unselfishly that he really doesn't get the offensive touches he should have."

One of Perry's teammates is also making some noise and his tournament play is starting to get attention. Gary LaRyan is a 6-foot-7 in wing player that is very comfortable in the 2-guard or small forward positions. LaRyan, from St. Thomas Moore High School in Carencro, Louisiana, was playing incredibly well last Saturday night. He was sizzling from the outside, playing tough defense, beating defenders down the court for breakaway dunks and rebounding on both ends of the floor.

"His stock has really risen," Washington said, "we are beginning to get lots of calls on him. And I think he will continue to improve. His potential is strong. We have not anything yet. He is going to be a major player before he is done."

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