With a few months to go until the regular signing period in April, the door isn’t closed yet on the recruiting class of 2015.
But it’s never too early to fix an eye on the future, and, at least according to Scout.com, the top basketball player in Louisiana for 2016 is DeJon Jarreau of McDonogh 35 in New Orleans.
Jarreau, standing just south of 6-foot-5 and around 165 pounds, is a four-star prospect and the No. 56 player in the country in his class. He primarily runs the point but is capable of playing off the ball.
During our last interview in September, Jarreau reported interest from no less than 15 programs.
That number – and his total offers number – have grown in the last week with Memphis and Boston College officially extending offers his way.
“The ones that have been really staying in touch a lot are UMass, Oklahoma, Tulane and Southeastern (La.),” explained Jarreau. “There’s been some new interest, too. Arkansas has started hitting me up, Temple, Miami, Boston College, UNLV, Baylor and some others.”
Additional offers for Jarreau include Washington, Oral Roberts, UNO, ULL, Northwestern State and North Florida. Schools such as Vanderbilt, Virginia, Louisiana Tech and Tulsa have also remained in contact.
Of particular interest to Jarreau, who has reiterated several times he has no issue leaving the state, is the Massachusetts offer.
In fact when the Minutemen played at LSU on Dec. 2 – an 82-60 win for the Tigers – Jarreau was in the building, and, escorted by former LSU player and New Orleanian Charles Carmouche, actually spent time with both staffs.
“I went to the LSU side. They gave us a little mini-tour of the locker room and stuff,” Jarreau recalled. “Then I went to the UMass side. UMass is the one that’s really been after me. So we had a long talk that night. Then they came to our game when we played Helen Cox, and I played really well. I think we fell short that night to Cox by eight, but I showed them what I can do. I know they’re really looking hard at me.”
As for where things stand with LSU?
“LSU hasn’t really been hitting me up that much,” said Jarreau. “They’ve told me they’re going to start coming, but they haven’t really come around yet.”
Jarreau isn’t shy in giving credit to Carmouche, his LSU connection, for growing his game leading into his junior season.
“Me and Carmouche, we spent like the whole summer working out,” continued Jarreau. “I met him my sophomore year, but my junior year he really started to come help me – getting one-on-one workouts, workouts with me, him and Bryson [Gresham, a teammate at ’35 also being recruited heavily]. He got my shot better, and I improved on coming off ball screens, splitting traps, everything. But he said this coming summer, we’re going to go even harder.”
The new and improved Jarreau, who really made a splash in Las Vegas this summer toward the end of the evaluation period, has gotten off to a strong start on the floor this season.
He scored 32 points in the final of the Landry-Walker Mary Laurie Tournament in late November, leading ’35 to a win over Higgins and 2015 three-star wing Melvin Frazier and, in the process, taking home tournament MVP honors.
Now, back from a recent injury, Jarreau is poised to lead the Roneagles into district play in 10-4A, which tips off Jan. 20 against Lake Area.
“We’ve been doing real well. We’ve got some young players where this is their first year all varsity, and we’ve needed this time to jell before district (play),” Jarreau explained. “I feel like I’ve been doing really well, but throughout the season I’ve missed about three or four games with a hip injury. I just actually came back and I’m trying to come back stronger.”
His role for ’35 has Jarreau as the main ball-handler, but versatility on the perimeter is a big thing from his viewpoint.
“I’ve been running maybe 70% of the point,” he estimated. “Sometimes I do play off the ball to get some better shots, but I don’t mind setting up my teammates for good shots when I’m on the ball. I’m able to switch it up.”
One final note on Jarreau centers on his cousin, Jernard Jarreau, a redshirt junior at Washington, one of the schools that’s offered the younger member of the family.
Jernard has played in all 15 games for the Huskies this season, averaging 5.1 points and 4.9 rebounds in 22.3 minutes a game. According to DeJon, who is considering UDub, his older cousin is among his inner-circle of advisors.
“Yeah, he gives me some advice. He tells me what to watch out for and stuff like that,” said DeJon Jarreau. “He tells me which schools he thinks would be good for me. He definitely talks to me a lot. Him and Carmouche and my coaches are the ones who really help me the most there.”
Chase is on for 2016 four-star DeJon Jarreau
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