TOC: Leo Criswell Spotlight

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Watch Leo Criswell for just a few minutes and it's clear that this is a prospect with plenty of potential.

Athleticism? Just witness the jaw-dropping dunks in warm-ups.

Shooting? He nailed just about every mid-range jumper he took.

Ball Handling? It was well hidden on this day, but he's got the skills.

Defense? The footwork was lazy, but the shotblocking was impressive

The saying "If someone lit a fire under him …" has become cliché in recruiting circles, but it sure applies to Leo Criswell, who stands at 6-8 and about 200 pounds. Currently ranked No. 65 by analyst Dave Telep, what separates him from the Top 25 is consistent effort.

Matched up against versatile post player Andray Blatche on Saturday morning at the Smith Center, Criswell opted to utilize his perimeter game, rather than taking it inside against Blatche.

"He was trying to make me shoot so I had to shoot," Criswell said. "I tried to take what he gave me so I shot the shot."

And almost all the mid-range shots found the net, as well as a couple of the threes. He said he has a post game as well, and maybe he thought it was futile against Blatche, but in this game he looked like a developing small forward, rather than a combo forward.

After posting 15 points and 5 boards, Criswell said his recruitment is still in its early stages.

"I really don't know – I'm still taking my visits," he said. "I've taken one visit so far to Marquette."

According to Criswell, four schools stand atop his list -- Oklahoma St., Marquette, North Carolina and Kansas -- and he's already slated to visit at least two more schools in the coming months.

"Maybe in the middle of the summer I'll visit Oklahoma St. and I have a visit set with Miami for next school year," he said.

As for North Carolina, they're showing interest, but no offer has been made yet.

"They call my coach every now and then – probably once a week," Criswell said. "The coach hasn't had a chance to see me play yet. They said they want to offer, but Roy Williams hasn't seen me play yet. I figure since he hasn't offered me yet, they're not really interested [yet]."

Criswell has seen the Chapel Hill campus before, so he took only a brief of the school while in town this year.

"We took an unofficial here last year," he said. "We walked around the campus earlier – it's top of the line. … And the players and the coaches – it's the best you can get."

Clint Jackson's Scouting Notes -

Long, lanky and athletic -- Criswell is a very appealing prospect. Likes to face up, good jump shooter, can collect some blocks with his length. Has explosion but seldom uses it. Range out to the arc. Nice touch from the baseline, mid-range, basically everywhere else, too.

Potential wise -- big time kid, here. No doubt about it.

Effort wise? Loafs often. Goes through the motions. Doesn't like to move his feet on defense.

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