JOHN: Christopher to soon schedule visits

While Patrick Christopher has not officially trimmed schools from his list, he appears to be down to four schools for all practical purposes.

While Patrick Christopher has not officially trimmed schools from his list, he appears to be down to four schools for all practical purposes.

"California, Washington and Texas are all over him and hard," said Laron Christopher, father of the 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Dominguez High School in Compton, California, "and Kentucky is still on our list."

"California has not let up at all, even after Patrick reopened his recruitment," added Laron, "you have to respect the fact that they have stuck with Patrick throughout this process and they understand he will be taking visits to other schools. Our family has a lot of respect for coach Braun and his staff. They have handled the situation with a lot of class."

The elder Christopher said that, while he has no official visit dates lined up at the moment, that Patrick doesPatrick Christopher ( intend to visit California, Texas and Washington.   Washington and California have extended offers thus far. "We'd like to visit Kentucky, too," Laron said, "as far as we know, they are still interested but we have not heard from them in a while. So I can't tell you for sure Patrick will be visiting there. We will probably know more in the next couple of weeks."

On Kentucky, Laron says he is not sure why, or even if, Kentucky has cooled on his son. "It's hard not to like Kentucky," Laron said, "I saw an article on Patrick that refered to the 'Prince-ly connection' and that is really true. Tayshaun Prince was a hero at Dominguez High and Patrick idolized him as much as anyone. I just don't know what is happening with Kentucky right now."

Laron said this summer has passed at a frenetic pace for Patrick, but that the experience has made him a better player, "I can't really say I have been a fan of the summer play schedule," Laron said,  "So many back to back tournaments, so many games being played, sometimes more than one in a day. Just traveling with Laron has been tough on me. I can only imagine what it is like on the players."

"Patrick has really had a growth curve, though," added Laron, "he has learned to put the ball on the floor much better - he has really developed as a ball handler. He can really get up and down the court and finish a break. He is mixing it up inside more. I know I am his dad, but Patrick has really grown to be a smart, smart basketball player. There are a lot of players out there with athleticism but can do little more than shoot or dunk. Patrick is developing an overall game."

Patrick's AAU Coach, Rick Issacs, agrees, "Patrick was such a great kid to have on the team. He came in as a new player and blended in right away and became one of the go-to guys almost right away. He has much more than just a jump shot. Patrick can do a lot of things on the court."

But make no mistake about it, one of the things that will be most attractive to college coaches is Patrick's outside shooting ability, "Coach Issacs said to me that there are lots of scorers out there," Laron said, "but not so many shooters, and Patrick is a shooter. He averaged 35 points a game in a tournament in Indiana and there were times it looked like he could hit a 25 footer with his eyes closed. Sometimes he just gets in a zone, but even when he is not in a zone he is still consistent."

So, is Patrick leaning in any one direction?

"I don't think so," Laron said, "it will be Patrick's decision. I think he is set on making his visits and exploring his options. I will say that California, Texas and Washington are all on him really hard, but as of now, I think Patrick would still say he is pretty open."

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