2017 Lafayette Christian (La.) wing Galen Alexander couldn't turn down his hometown school and decided in July to roll with LSU and commit.
"I was ready. It was time. Coach Jones showed their support, believed in me, believed in the player that I was and overall, they just trusted me. It was the same thing. I trusted them and they trusted me," Alexander said. "They can make me the player I want to be one day."
Johnny Jones had built a great relationship from the beginning with the No. 16 small forward in the country and kept on him throughout the process.
"He's great. I love coach Jones. He was one of the first coaches and schools to start recruiting me. We automatically had a relationship since my recruitment started. He always stayed on top, he always called and most of all, he was consistent. He always was there for me," Alexander said. "He's not like one of those coaches that would just tell you, you're great and we need you. Coach Jones comes out to my game and watches all the things I do - good and bad - and he tells me. I want a coach who keeps it real with me."
A relatively new name for Alexander to get to know was LSU assistant coach Robert Kirby, but the two developed a great relationship right off the bat.
"Ever since he came over from Memphis, he's been recruiting me and kind of took over the job from coach Pickins. We had a great relationship off the bat," Alexander said. "Because of my relationship with coach Johnny, it translated. Coach Kirby is great. He critiques me, he makes me better as a player, and another thing is he believes in me. He believes I can come in and be that guy to play solid minutes. That was real big on my decision."
Being close to home played a large part in his decision as his family can come watch every game of Alexander's if they'd like.
"That played a big part in it. Just having my family being able to come watch me. A lot of people understand that my mom works long hours. She works 12-16 hours a day. I feel like that was the least she deserved is to be able to come see me play and for all the things she sacrificed for me. Another I really love about LSU is the environment. Every time I step on campus, I just feel at home. One big thing is I could see myself in a Tiger uniform."
His mom was one of the most excited people in Alexander's family, which are all big LSU Tiger fans.
"She was extremely happy. She was kind of pushing for it because she loves LSU and my dad loves LSU. My whole family loves LSU. Everybody was pushing for it and whatever decision I made, they'd be happy with it, but after I told them I was ready to commit, they were happy and proud of me."
LSU's staff sees Alexander as a player with great versatility that can play the two, three and four for the Tigers once he arrives.
"That's one thing we talk about a lot. My ability to rebound. I can play the guard, I can post up and because of my size and quickness and athleticism, and length, it allows me to play multiple positions. I can defend multiple positions and I can also really pass the ball. I'm looking to come in and bring that to the team."
The RM5Elite wing had Jones and Kirby watching him live plenty of times this summer, including at the Great American Shootout in Duncanville, Tex., where Tiger Blitz was also watching Alexander perform.
"It was alright. We lost earlier than we expected. Learned from it and got better. We've been working on playing together and playing defense all as one," Alexander said. "I feel like I played pretty well. I had one bad game, but overall I played great."
Outside shooting was a big point of emphasis for Alexander, who continues to develop in that area.
"Being a 2-3, every great wing is a great shooter. That's one thing I've been working on and it got better and better. Some people don't know, but when I started, I was terrible. I couldn't shoot at all. I'd get to the basket, but I couldn't shoot at all. I plan on making that one of my things is to shoot the basketball."
The No. 62 overall prospect for Scout is relieved to not be focusing on the recruiting process any longer.
"It feels great. I was just with my teammates and I was talking about it. One of my teammates said 'I'm trying to get my last few offers' and I started thinking about that now I can just let my hair down and play. I don't have to worry about this coach or that coach. I'm ready to get some dubs."