Today, TheInsiders.com released their greatly anticipated Top 100 player rankings for this 2004 recruiting class, now that the busy summer period has concluded. #90 on that list, from Dave Telep and Tracy Pierson, is the man who today looks like the #1 guard recruit for Stanford Basketball. South Carolina's Zam Frederick has been held as a top 100 player in many rankings throughout the last several months, and he did nothing to hurt his reputation during the July evaluation period. He racked up 20+ scoring games with scary regularity, in both winning and losing efforts for his South Carolina Ravens AAU squad.
His last big game came in the Super Showcase in Orlando, Florida. The Ravens had advanced out of pool play with two of three wins (the loss against the famed St. Louis Eagles, with Matt Shaw and Tyler Hansbrough, despite Frederick's 25 points) but found themselves in a hole early in their first playoff game. "The other team took the lead and then held the ball to kill the rest of the game," says a despondent Frederick. "I did everything I could, and I finished with 29 points. We had to shoot the three whenever we did get the ball, and I was feeling it." Six of seven from deep in a comeback bid is 'feeling it,' alright.
The South Carolina standout expected to go with the Ravens squad next to the AAU Nationals, the following days in Orlando, but they were shut out after a coach failed to pay the registration fee. All in all, it was a bitter ending for the scoring guard. But he has focused his energies on his recruitment since, and says that he has a pretty good idea of his favorites today.
"Stanford and Georgia Tech are my top two," he tells The Bootleg. "I'm going to visit Georgia Tech September 5 and will go to Stanford on the 18th. Georgia has also been trying to setup a visit, and they are a strong third right now. With the situation of their scholarships, I know that if I go there I'll have a lot of playing opportunity right away."
The trip to Tech in two weeks will be nothing new for Frederick, who has already take two unofficial visits to the Atlanta campus. The most recent came earlier this month, when he visited Paul Hewitt's program with his mother and good friend Ra'Sean Dickey. "I had been before, and they did a lot of the same stuff," Frederick says of the second visit. "It was really all for my mom and Ra'Sean. They enjoyed it, but it's not like it did anything new for me."
His latest interaction with Stanford came when the highly sought-after recruit was visited by senior assistant coach Tony Fuller, who visited one of Frederick's recent workouts. "Stanford is telling me that I'm their top priority," he reveals. "They say there aren't a lot of people who can get into Stanford and play ball like I do. They let me know that I'm a special guy, and Stanford is a special place for people like me.
"I've talked with Coach [Mike] Montgomery two or three times, but I think we'll get in more depth on my visit. Right now a lot of what we talk about is my application. I know Stanford is a place where you have to get accepted, and I think I'm good enough that I can do that. I'm almost finished with my application right now. Getting accepted will mean a lot to me, knowing that academically I can get myself to a place like Stanford."
Though it is likely that Zam Frederick Sr. will come with his son on the visit, the younger Frederick says that his mother would not take an interest like she has in Georgia Tech until after the visit. "I think she wants to see what I think about Stanford before she starts to get emotionally involved," the son says. "If I come back and tell her I love Stanford, then she'll start to get on board."
With those two September visits in place, and likely a third to Georgia, what would happen with his final two official trips? Frederick surprisingly says that he may not care to take all five of his official visits. One thought might have been Kentucky, who has been rumored for a long time to be a favorite of his. But he says he hasn't heard much from Tubby Smith and Wildcat staff since July, and he is focusing his energies on the schools who are recruiting him seriously. "I don't think I've talked to them since the Peach Jam," Frederick says of Kentucky. "So I haven't been thinking about them for a while. I have great options to deal with right now and can't spend my time thinking about other places."
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