Sampson sports expanded list

CLEVELAND, OH -- Jakarr Sampson shot up the rankings this spring and is a hot prospect for college coaches this month. He's also sporting an expanded list of schools showing interest in his recruitment at the start of the July evaluation period. Is Louisville still standing out to the 6'8 small forward? Sampson broke his recruitment down with at the King City Classic.

Jakarr Sampson has shown a vastly expanded - and improved - game this summer. He's also sporting an expanded list of schools who are showing considerable interest in his recruitment at the start of the July evaluation period.

Last month at the NBA Top 100 Camp, Sampson talked up four schools - Louisville, Xavier, Baylor and St. John's. Now, Sampson's list has grown and reflects that of one of the nation's Top 30 prospects.

"I'm really open, but the schools on my list are Louisville, USC, St. John's, Michigan State, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Dayton, Xavier, Florida, Tennessee and Miami," Sampson said.

Sampson said that Louisville, St. John's and Xavier have indicated that he's a priority recruit for their programs. Louisville head coach Rick Pitino watched Sampson's first game Thursday morning at the King City Classic in Cleveland, OH.

Sampson was supposed to visit the Cardinals last month, but was forced to change those plans to attend a team camp in North Carolina.

"I told my AAU coach that I was going to Louisville, but he told me we had a team camp in North Carolina and told me ‘no, you're not going to visit Louisville, you're going to North Carolina," Sampson said. "He pretty much told me what I was doing. I had plans to go to Louisville with Zach [Price] and Wayne [Blackshear] but my AAU coach said otherwise."

While that visit didn't occur, Sampson told that he still plans to visit the Cardinals.

"I really want to see the campus," Sampson said. "Zach says it's great but I want to see it myself."

How will Sampson's recruitment play out?

"I've still got a couple of colleges to visit, new schools coming on. I don't know when I'm going to [make] a decision," Sampson said. "I want to take my time and do it right. You want to be at a good college with good coaches."

Sampson said he plans to visit Louisville, USC, Tennessee, Baylor and Miami before he makes a decision. "But that's not my top five," Sampson said. "I'm still open."

Sampson is off to a solid start at the King City Classic and showed in the first game that he could rebound and lead the fast break, hit the midrange turnaround and create scoring opportunities in transition for himself and his teammates.

"The competition out here is great," Sampson said. "It's fun to see how I do against better players and test your abilities against new players."

Sampson wants to show coaches in July that he's made solid improvement in his game.

"I'm trying to show them that I can play a little bit of both [forward positions]," Sampson said. "I play center in high school and I'm making that transition to the wing. I want to show them that I can handle the ball, get my teammates the ball and be a good leader."

Sampson is still looking to improve two aspects of his game.

"I'm trying to improve my shot and my ball handling," Sampson said.

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