LSU offer meaningful to Lott

2015 C.E. Byrd guard Chad Lott is picking up steam on the recruiting trail following a big sophomore season and his recent run with the Baton Rouge Red Storm of the EYBL. Inside, Lott tells TSD's Ben Love how he feels about LSU offering and what his time frame is for making a college decision.

It's easy to see the talent level in Louisiana prep basketball has risen in recent years with stars like Ricardo Gathers (2012), Jarell Martin (2013) and Craig Victor (2014) garnering attention from programs all over the country.

But, for all the individual greatness of those three, the real strength in the Pelican State lies in the masses of underclassmen set to take college basketball recruiting by storm. Louisiana will produce an almost-astounding number of Division-I basketball players in the classes of 2015 and 2016.

One such younger player beginning to make his mark is C.E. Byrd (Shreveport) guard Chad Lott, a Class of 2015 prospect who posted reported averages of 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game as a sophomore.

Lott, 6-foot-3 and 177 pounds, described his game recently to TSD.

Offensively: "My mid-range game is something I practice a ton and take a lot of pride in. I like to work that in off the dribble. And pump fakes, of course. I love pump fakes. I guess you could call me old school because of how many pump fakes I'll use in a game, but that's just something my dad taught me."

Defensively: "Usually I get a lot of deflections became I'm long for a point guard. I'm pretty tall for a point guard. So blocking off passing lanes, denying, all that, is something I work on."

A combo guard, who's spending more time at the point these days, Lott followed up a stellar prep season by taking his game to the next level this spring and early summer, playing with the Baton Rouge Red Storm of the EYBL.

"I love it. Man, I love it," Lott said of the EYBL experience. "It's been crazy, being from Shreveport and now getting the opportunity to play against some of the top players in the nation. It's been an amazing run."

Despite being a 2015 guy, Lott has been playing with the oldest group on the EYBL circuit, one primarily consisting of 2014 players. For Lott, who said Red Storm coach Jonathan Pixley reached out to his high school coach after this past prep season, it's made him a tougher player – mentally and physically.

"It's been nice playing with the oldest group because it showed my true colors," explained Lott. "I had to step up. When I play with other teams, like at Byrd, it's more of just ‘Okay, go out there and play and try to win.' With this, though, in the EYBL, you have to bring it every night and give everything."

The Red Storm did not qualify for this year's Peach Jam, but, for Lott, there was a consolation prize for all his hard work and on-court production: an offer from in-state school LSU.

His main contact on the Tigers' coaching staff at first was head coach Johnny Jones, who Lott said was the one to actually dispense the offer roughly two weeks ago. Lately he's been hearing more from assistant David Patrick.

One thing is clear: an offer from Louisiana's flagship university has made an impression on Lott.

"It meant a lot to me because it's close to home, so of course I'm going to consider it," said Lott. "It definitely meant a lot because it was one of the first bits of interest I had. I came to one of the games (last season), and I liked their environment. I'm definitely considering LSU."

Aside from LSU, Lott has fielded offers from ULL and Arizona State. The player also reports "heavy interest" from Baylor and Creighton. While he isn't sure yet where he'll end up, Lott does have a basic outline for when he'll make his decision and how he plans to grow his recruitment.

"I know for sure that it's not going to be before the summer (after) my junior year because this was my first year doing the EYBL system," Lott leveled. "I've been blessed because of that to get all that I have now. So I want to go through that again and see what happens this time next year. It won't be before then."

As far as visits, Lott is making appointments to go back to LSU and ULL and would like to make it out to Arizona State. "I'm going to try to get all my visits in that I'm invited to because that's a big thing to me – knowing the environment. I want to understand and like the environment of the school that I'm going to attend."

In the meantime this growing name on the 2015 scene is concentrating most on where he can improve, something he said his recent run on the EYBL circuit has shown him.

"I need to improve on being in more control with the ball," Lott explained. "Playing with the Red Storm, I'm usually at point guard. So I have to control the offense and control the defense. And of course I can always get better on the defensive end."

Lott expects to play mostly point guard this upcoming season at Byrd and thinks there's a good chance he ends up at the one on the next level. With Anthony Hickey set to graduate the year Lott finishes high school, you can bet LSU will remain hot on Lott's trail.

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