LSU visits Russell

D'Angelo Russell of Montverde (FL) Academy is the top shooting guard in the country for 2014. On Wednesday several members of the LSU staff visited the five-star prospect. TSD's Matt McCurdy has details and reaction from Russell.

LSU is apparently dead set on signing an elite shooting guard, visiting and offering D'Angelo Russell a scholarship on Wednesday. Russell is a five-star recruit and the No. 1 ranked shooting guard in America for 2014.

LSU head coach Johnny Jones and assistant David Patrick traveled to Montverde (FL) Academy, near Orlando, to make their pitch to Russell, in hopes of getting involved in his recruitment. According to Russell, the trip was a success.

"I appreciate them taking time out of their day and coming down here to watch me practice and offering me a free education," Russell told TSD from his dorm room at Montverde, a century-old boarding school where tuition runs $42,000 per year. "That means a lot to me."

Russell, 6-4, 180 pounds, said LSU is definitely on the lengthy list of schools he is considering, along with home-town school Louisville, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio State, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Memphis, Georgetown and Michigan State.

"I'll definitely cut my list down by summer and I'll sign as late as possible, so I'll know where everyone is going and to help me make the right decision. I'll definitely go to a winning program with a great coaching staff."

As a native of Kentucky, Russell said he was a fan of LSU guard Anthony Hickey, a fellow Kentuckian and a former star football and basketball player in the state.

"I grew up watching him," Russell said. "I used to love watching him play."

So what's next regarding LSU?

"Coach Patrick is looking to get me to LSU for an unofficial visit," Russell said. "He's talking to my dad and they are going to set it up."

Russell's teammate at Montverde is Australian forward Ben Simmons, a five-star recruit for 2015 and an LSU target as well. Simmons transferred to Montverde from Australia at mid-semester and was not eligible to play this season. Simmons will, however, play in ESPN's National High School Invitational, which is an eight-team tournament featuring the best high school teams in the country. It will take place April 4-6.

Simmons is the godson of David Patrick, a fact that Russell was not aware of.

"Really?" he laughed. "That's crazy!"

So, is LSU a serious player for Russell? It's definitely possible, though as a late entry into the game, the odds are stacked against LSU. Crazier things have happened.

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