Coleman starts toward a decision

Former Thiboadaux High star toured LSU and last weekend and spent time with Tiger players and coaches. He'll take official visits to Oklahoma and Texas Tech before deciding where he will sign.

The first third of the journey that will shape the next few years of Shavon Coleman’s basketball life is finished.

Within a few weeks, the Howard (Texas) College swingman and former Thibodaux High star will take the next step and transition to the Division I level.

Coleman, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound sophomore at Howard was in Baton Rouge last weekend for an official visit with LSU, one of three schools he is considering.

He will head to Oklahoma this weekend and then wrap up his visits with a junket to Texas Tech on the same weekend of the Final Four.

The baseline for his visits came with the Tigers coaches and players, and he said they made a strong impression.

“It was a good opportunity for me to see what it was like at LSU,” Coleman said. “I’ve been up there a lot for games and I’ve known guys up there for a long time, but this was different. I got to see how Coach (Trent) Johnson is with his team and got to see what his players think of him.”

That could be a big factor in where Coleman winds up.

His junior-college coach, Mark Adams, said Coleman approaches the game with a no-nonsense attitude and meshes best with coaches who work the same way. That, of course, describes Johnson well.

“The players I hung out with told me he doesn’t change a lot, that he’s really focused on basketball and finding ways to help players get better,” Coleman said.

“We have a good connection. He understands me and I understand him.”

Coleman’s 2011-12 season ended 10 days ago with an 84-74 loss to No. 1-ranked and unbeaten South Plains College in the Region V championship game. Coleman scored 22 points and had 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who finished 23-8 with three losses to South Plains.

For his sophomore season, Coleman averaged 14.7 points and 6.6 rebounds a game, racked up 56 assists and 45 steals and shot 37.3 % (38 for 102) from 3-point range. He had games with 20 points or more and boosted his scoring average to 16.2 per game in conference play.

After his three visits, Coleman said he will make a decision within a few days. The spring national signing period begins April 11.

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