No Rush For Lee

New Mexico Junior College standout guard Desmond Lee isn't focusing on recruiting right now, but that could change very soon.

New Mexico Junior College standout guard Desmond Lee isn't focusing on recruiting right now, but that could change very soon.

"We're still playing, and the plan has been for Des to start his visits after our season is over," said New Mexico JC head coach James Miller. "We have a game on Thursday, and if we win that one we'll go to the regionals.

"If we don't pull that one out we'll likely be done. Whenever we are finishes, that's when Des will begin to take his trips."

New Mexico JC was defeated Monday night 61-50 by Odessa College and is now 23-6 overall on the season. Lee finished with 14 points and six rebounds in the loss.

The Thunderbirds complete regular season play Thursday night at home against Midland College.

"Des had a really good night for us last night," said coach Miller. "What I like about him is he can play different styles... he's effective in grind-it-out games or defensive-oriented games. Last year we walked it up the floor and this season we're trying to push it more.

"Right now, in our league most teams are defensive-oriented. A lot of times the first team to 60 is going to win the game. I know it's crazy to say, but that is how it has been. He can be effective though in those grind-it-out games."

Even though Lee hasn't set up any visits, colleges continue to make their way out to see him.

"Last night he had out UNLV, Creighton, and Illinois," said coach Miller. "Coach Moxley was out last week from NC State, and Auburn and Florida State have been out to see him.

"A lot of the same schools are still recruiting him. It's now going to be about taking his visits and finding the right fit."

NC State assistant coach Rob Moxley is recruiting Lee, and he has made him a priority for the Wolfpack. State's extended Lee a scholarship offer and has been in contact with him, coach Miller, and Lee's family back in Virginia.

"I think NC State has been very aggressive," said coach Miller. "They've extended him a scholarship offer and are communicating with his family. Coach Mox has been out to see us multiple times, coach Gottfried has talked with Des... they've really stepped it up.

"I'm not exactly sure of their situation, but it sounds like they want a guy with experience to come in and be ready to play. I believe they are losing a guy or two to the draft, so maybe they want another guard with experience who can play right away and take some pressure off the freshmen and sophomores."

One of the top junior college players in the country, Lee is averaging 21.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. The 6-foot-4 guard is shooting 43.9% from the field, 78.5% from the free throw line, and 34.5% from three.

A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Lee was a two-sport star at Booker T. Washington HS, excelling in basketball and football (quarterback).

Following his senior season, Lee attended a prep school, Heat Academy, for a year, where he helped lead the school to a 36-4 record by averaging 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists.

Lee signed a scholarship with UTEP, but failed to qualify to play in the 2010-2011 season and remained at home for a year before heading out to New Mexico.

In the fall he took official visits to Colorado State and Duquesne, so he has three trips left to take. He holds offers from Creighton, Miami, Auburn, Arkansas, Colorado State, Duquesne, NC State, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Washington, and Illinois among others.

"He's going to take his visits first and then look to make a decision," said coach Miller. "I don't anticipate him doing anything before taking his visits."

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