'They were real close to offering me'

Leo Criswell will be one of the few big-time players who won't be at the Kingwood Classic this weekend. He'll be on his first official visit – to Marquette.

The 6-8, 210-pound Piper High (K.C.) junior travels with KC Pump ‘N Run – and after participating out in Las Vegas this past weekend, they have a week off before a small tournament in Minnesota next weekend.

Criswell's stock has improved dramatically of late – especially in regards to North Carolina.

Tar Heels assistant Steve Robinson has checked him out and Roy Williams was slated to do the same in Vegas.

"They were real close to offering me," Criswell said of UNC. "But Roy still hasn't seen me play. He was going to, but then the coaches had a meeting with the 5/8 rule and he couldn't watch me. He said he'll try and see me during the summer."

So far, Criswell's elite four consist of Marquette, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin and UNC. He said there is virtually no chance of him giving Marquette coach Tom Crean a commitment this weekend. Badgers head man Bo Ryan met with Criswell on Tuesday and put forth an offer while Marquette and Oklahoma State have both already offered.

It's doubtful that Criswell will schedule an official trip to North Carolina until the Tar Heels put an offer on the table. He's a smart kid who wants to make sure he doesn't waste one of his five official visits on a school that doesn't know for certain whether they want him or not.

Criswell is a versatile, athletic forward who is more suited to the small forward spot until he puts on more weight and develops his low-post games. He's a good passer, runs the floor and can also handle the ball well for someone his size.

Criswell played his first two years of high school ball at Washington High before transferring to Piper. He got off to a somewhat slow start this past season, but finished averaging 19 points, 9.5 boards and 5.5 blocks per game.

Criswell will attend the NBA Camp and the ABCD camp in July and will also head to the Best of Summer in Los Angeles at the end of the summer.


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