Kleiza Recruitment On Autopilot

Montrose Christian opens up Monday night. That means the first regular season game for one of the nation's top unsigned big men.

Kleiza Tuned Up Against Alums

At this point, you've got to think Montrose Christian power forward Linas Kleiza is itching to play a real basketball game. He's successfully rehabbed his knee injury, played a few practice games and probably is ready to rip down some rims.

On Saturday, he tuned up for Monday's opener against MM Washington by playing against some former Montrose standouts in an alumni game. Kleiza scored 22 points and had 16 rebounds.

"The guys that he played against were older men who knew how to play," Montrose assistant David Adkins said. "He wants to play against the best. He relishes the competition."

From a recruiting standpoint, Kleiza is on autopilot. With the first signing period having come and gone, he's focused in on having a great senior season. "We're getting ready to slow things down," Adkins said. "He'll do it late. It's basically the same schools. It's time to concentrate on our season."

The "same schools" are North Carolina State, Connecticut and St. John's. Florida State received the early official visit so he's got four remaining but won't take any for a while. His last unofficial visit was to Virginia when the Cavaliers hosted the Wolfpack in football.

Adkins said that a lot of schools will be at the Glaxo Wellcome after Christmas to watch Kleiza. Pete Gillen was at Montrose Christian on Saturday. There seems to be whispers that Missouri is in great shape and that makes sense but this isn't over.

"They've been around the longest and they've done a great job recruiting him," Adkins said of the Tigers. "But, he's not ready to make a decision today."

What Kleiza is ready for is competition. Don't be surprised if he puts together the kind of senior year worthy of serious McDonald's game consideration.

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