Basketball Confidence Levels: Sept. 2015

TSD publisher Ben Love gives a detailed look at where LSU basketball stands with each of its top remaining targets in the Class of 2016.

For the second straight year TSD will roll out monthly editions of Confidence Levels for LSU basketball's Class of 2016, an important recruiting crop given the potential for NBA exodus from the current Tiger team.

The whole point: I aim to give you a feel for LSU's chances at landing each of the top remaining prospects on the team's big board. Using a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the highest, I'll clue you in with the latest buzz - including positive or negative momentum - on each prospect's recruitment.

Be on the lookout for a new edition of Basketball Confidence Levels in mid-October, which should be an intriguing time period with the November early signing period drawing nearer.

Below is my breakdown of LSU's top eight targets, which don't include the two current Tiger commitments - point guard Skylar Mays and forward Wayde Sims.


PG De'Aaron Fox – 3.5

That 3.5-rating may not seem like much, but that's mainly due to LSU's competition for the No. 1 point guard in America, per Scout. Still the momentum surrounding Fox and LSU is positive lately, heading in the right direction after the Tigers went in-home with the Houston native Wednesday night. LSU will also get the first of four scheduled official visits for Fox next weekend, when the football Tigers host their biggest game weekend of the season with Auburn in town. He's also slated to take in Louisville (Sept. 26), Kansas (Oct. 10) and Kentucky (Oct. 17), according to Scout's Evan Daniels. NC State, Arizona and possibly North Carolina remain in the mix, too.

Even though LSU already has one committed point guard in Mays, don't rule out the Tigers in the chase for Fox. At one point rumor had it Texas was in the driver's seat for him, but now that the Longhorns are out of it, LSU and lead recruiter David Patrick have a chance to swoop in and make Fox the Antonio Blakeney surprise signing of the 2016 class.

SG/SF Ar'Mond Davis – 4.0

One of the top junior college players in the country, Davis, a 6-foot-6 wing at College of Southern Idaho, is more or less down to three schools - LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama. He actually committed to Memphis last weekend while on an official visit and has since decommitted. Welcome to the world of recruiting!

But the most recent rumbling TSD received is that Davis isn't likely to end up at Memphis at any point. He's scheduled to be in Texas A&M this weekend, starting today; at Alabama next weekend and then at LSU for the weekend of Oct. 3, when the football Tigers host Eastern Michigan. Looks like it'll be the SEC for Davis, and looks like LSU will have its first (of many, I anticipate) recruiting battles with the Aggies and the Crimson Tide, who now have Avery Johnson on as head coach.

PF Robert Williams – 1.5

The momentum here is suddenly heading back in a negative direction for LSU with Williams, a commitment to Texas A&M. The buzz in August was that Williams, a north Louisiana resident whose father lives in Houston, was strongly considering decommitting. The Tigers would've benefited greatly from that situation, more that likely in the driver's seat for Jordan Mickey 2.0.

But the vibe now is that Williams is going to stay put and that ultimately the dad wants him to be in College Station, so that's where he'll be. So don't be surprised if Williams' name drops off this big board entirely by October. Things are certainly in the process of cooling off after not-so-subtle whispers of a decommitment were circulating throughout Shreveport and the basketball community last month.

PG/SG DeJon Jarreau, PF Brison Gresham – 2.5

The package-deal duo from McDonogh 35 in New Orleans continues to explore its options out of state, with both getting in-home visits this week from Creighton, Miami (FL) and Oklahoma, as well as local school Tulane. LSU at this point is still making a push with first-year assistant Al Pinkins, but reading between the tea leaves, these two seem destined to head out of state.

I'm hearing they are planning to come to LSU for the home Florida game the weekend of Oct. 17. But ultimately, considering the Tigers have commitments from an inside-out duo (Mays, Sims) already, here's betting they don't land Gresham and Jarreau. If the staff was just recruiting Jarreau on his own, the story may be different. So the package deal does have some impact, but so too does the kids' willingness to leave Louisiana.

SG Dejan Vasiljevic – 5.5

A 6-foot-2 knockdown shooter from the Australian Institute of Sport, Vasiljevic has long been on the Tigers' radar and there's plenty of mutual interest. My best guess at this point is that this turns into a battle much like the one LSU had for Jack McVeigh in the last recruiting cycle, meaning I think it will probably come down to the Tigers and one other school (most likely one with an assistant that has Australian connections).

Vasiljevic was able to take in one of the Tigers' games down under in August, although no contact was allowed due to the period of time on the recruiting calendar in which LSU's Australian tour occurred. Still, LSU is right in the thick of it for this dynamite Aussie import. Only the McVeigh experience last season, in which he ended up at Nebraska, keeps me from bumping this rating up a little higher.

PG Jaylen Fisher – 1.5

This one can be kept short and sweet: I'm hearing it's not likely to happen for LSU. Assistant Al Pinkins did give the Tigers a great in, due to his background in the Memphis area, but that edge has more or less been vacated from what I'm hearing due to the Tigers taking a commitment from Mays and openly recruiting Fox, two point guards. And, unlike Mays and Fox, Fisher is really only a point, not truly capable of playing the two for extended periods of time. LSU values that Mays and Fox can both scoot down a spot when needed. Like Robert Williams above, Fisher's name may not be on this list come next month.

SF Mario Kegler – 3.0

Pinkins also has LSU in the mix for Kegler, a physical small forward who grew up in the Jackson, Miss., area but is now taking his talents to Oak Hill Academy (VA) for his senior season. The Tigers will have to contend with home-state Mississippi State, which currently has former Kegler teammate Malik Newman on the roster.

Ironically neither the Tigers nor Bulldogs may get an official visit from Kegler, only because he's been close enough his whole life to visit both regularly, which he has. The other competition: Maryland, Indiana, Arizona State and Connecticut, all expected to get official visits. Hard to give too high a rating here, mainly because once a kid gets out of the area to play at a blue blood like Oak Hill, it's not typically very easy to bring him back. Still, this one has more life to it for LSU than either Robert Williams or Jaylen Fisher (and probably the McDonogh 35 duo).

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