2016 4-Star Recruit Mario Kegler Update

Arlington Country Day School's Mario Kegler, one of the elite players in the class of 2016, talks about how he has improved his overall game and where he stands recruiting-wise.

  • Name: Mario Kegler
  • Classification: 2016
  • High School: Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, FL)
  • AAU Team: MBA Hoops 17U
  • Position: Forward
  • HT-WT: 6-foot-8, 210
  • Scout Ranking: 4-Star, 33rd rated player in his class
  • Colleges of Interest: Colleges throughout the nation

  • Going into his junior season, he was already a great player, one of the top players in his class, but Kegler knew he needed to continue to improve. And he feels like he has done that.

    "I would say that I have gotten a lot better with my overall game, my ball-handling, my shot, my ability to score the ball," said the talented forward. "I tried to improve on scoring in different ways and scoring easier. I was trying to find some easy buckets. That is what I have been trying to work on."

    Kegler transferred from Callaway High School in Jackson, Mississippi to Arlington Country Day School. He did it so that he would face great competition every game.

    "We play all over the state so the competition is great, from practice to the game," he said.

    The transition of going to another school that was a full day's drive from his hometown was difficult for the youngster. He has played AAU ball for years and has traveled throughout the nation, but he always was able to come back home to Jackson, Mississippi after ever road trip. Not so while playing basketball and attending school for Arlington Day.

    "The transition was tough at first because I was bad homesick," said Kegler. "But when I go over that and got my mind on playing ball it felt normal."

    He sees a big benefit of playing basketball while being away from home for months.

    "It has helped make it easier for me to go to college,"said Kegler. "I have now had that experience of being away from home. I don't think I will be homesick if I go to school out of state."

    Speaking of college, Kegler has had numerous colleges offer him.

    "Arizona, UConn, Maryland, Mississippi State, Baylor, UCLA, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Tennessee; all of those schools and some others have offered so far," said Kegler. "It has been a lot of fun. A lot of coaches call you, so you get to talk to a lot of coaches. They give you their opinion about how they feel about you."

    Kegler talked about one of the schools recruiting him, Mississippi State. While they have been one of the colleges on his mind, hiring the ultra successful Ben Howland as their new head coach has really caught his eye.

    "That changed my thoughts about Mississippi State a lot," said Kegler. "I like Mississippi State. Coach Howland is a great coach. Everything that I hear about him is good. From me talking to him, it is good. I talked to him for the first time when I was going to a tournament in Indy, about a month ago. I think I have talked to him about five more times since then. He texts me every now and then, then he calls me."

    Kegler also has a very high opinion of Mississippi State assistant coach George Brooks, a coach who has been recruiting Kegler for years.

    "I love Coach Brooks; that is my guy," said Kegler. "He is my guy, a funny guy. I could talk to him all day."

    Both coaches have let it be known how important he is to the Mississippi State basketball program.

    "I feel like I am a very important priority to them," said Kegler. "I am from Mississippi and one of the top players to come out of Mississippi, and they really want me to come to Mississippi State."

    Mississippi State is one of many colleges that Kegler feels he is a priority.

    "I also feel like I am a priority to UConn, Maryland, Tennessee and Memphis," said the talented forward.

    As for when Kegler will make his college choice, that is something that he hasn't thought much about.

    "I really don't think about it right now, but I know one day I will have to sit down and make the decision where I am going to go," he said.

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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