Bass staying home to play for LSU

Brandon Bass had Valentine's greeting for a number of people Friday morning.<br><br>In a 9:30 a.m. press conference, the Capitol-Baton Rouge senior announced he would play for coach John Brady's LSU Tigers.

"I want to wish my mom Happy Valentine's Day," Bass said handing his mother, Estelle, a fuzzy, white teddy bear. "And I want to wish LSU a Happy Valentine's Day."

At that point, Bass reached under the table and grabbed a gold, LSU baseball cap and placed it firmly atop his head.

"I want to stay home," Bass said.

Bass (6-8, 225) chose the Tigers over Mississippi State and Connecticut. He was also recruited by Kentucky and Southern California.

Brandon Bass (M.J. Brown)

Capitol-Baton Rouge power forward Brandon Bass announces his commitment to play college basketball for LSU. (M.J. Brown) 

"I had pretty much decided, but I just didn't want to say anything," Bass said. "I have known for about a month. It was becoming stressful though with people calling my house late at night. I did not want it to affect the rest of my senior season."

He is currently averaging about 20 points and 15 rebounds a game for the Capitol Lions, and has been invited to participate in two prestigious All-American games next month.

"I think he does such a great job of using his strength, athleticism and inside power to impact games," said TheInsiders.com national basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep. "I love the way he plays, the intensity with which he approaches the game and his overall skills. He's got a tendency to venture to the perimeter but I think he'll have a chance to make money one day if he sticks with his best stuff and that means becoming a dominant 6-7 rebounder and scorer."

TheInsiders.com considers Bass the nation's No. 17 overall prospect and the third-best power forward. He would join an LSU recruiting class already stocked with national caliber talent.

"I don't think it would be overstating the situation to call him one of their most important recruits of the last decade given where the program is now and where it could be with him in it," Telep said. "I call him 'America's Recruit' because there isn't a program in the country he couldn't play for next season."

The Tigers already have verbal commitments from shooting guard Tack Minor of Houston-Washington, power forward Ross Neltner of Ft. Thomas, Ky.-Highlands, small forward Regis Koundjia of The Laurinburg (N.C.) Institute, and small forward Darnell Lazare of Baton Rouge-Woodlawn.

Minor is rated as the No. 5 shooting guard, according to TheInsiders.com, and Koundjia is the 8th-best small forward.

Bass' commitment is not binding until he signs a national letter of intent with LSU. The spring signing period begins on April 15.


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