Steve Smith talks about Lamb and Keita
Syracusefan.com checked in with Steve Smith, coach of national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.) on Tuesday in search of an update on star guard Doron Lamb. While speaking with Smith, we learned the 'Cuse may actually be close to gaining a verbal commitment from another Oak Hill prospect.
Junior big man Baye Moussa Keita is a 6-foot-10 native of Senegal who recently received a verbal offer from SU and is very high on the Orange, Smith said.
"I think Baye likes them a lot. I would say right now that's where he wants to go. I think Baye thinks he'll spend two years at Oak Hill Academy and then go to Syracuse, and something would have to change drastically in order for that to change," Smith said.
Keita, Smith said, is the most advanced of the six Senegalese big men he's coached at Oak Hill, including Segana Diop, who was drafted in the first round of the NBA draft directly out of high school.
"I think he's a little more advanced than those guys were at the same stage. He can shoot out to 17 feet, he's a shot-blocker, he needs to work on his post game but is he grows a little bit he'll be a seven footer. He's also fluent in English where some of those guys weren't, so he's a quick learner and he understands what we're trying to do," he said. "he's long and athletic."
Syracuse's staff recently checked in at the Mouth of Wilson, Va., school on Baye and Lamb. The 'Cuse has plucked several top players from Smith's program in recent years.
"They got Carmelo Anthony, and that worked out pretty well. And they got Billy Edelin, he helped them win a national title. And Eric Devendorf, I guess, was the last one," Smith said.
Lamb, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-4 guard from Brooklyn who is rated the No. 2 player in the Class of 2010.
"I like what I see in both of them, and they're going to be a lot better in two years than they are now. Doron is just starting to play hard every play. The knock on him was his intensity, playing hard every play and his physical strength. He's just started to lift weights," Smith said. "He's got good range on his jump shot and a midrange game. He's got a little floater. The thing he's been know for is his ability to slash and get into the lane. He's got some things that you coach and some things you don't coach."
Lamb has taken only one unofficial visit, to Louisville. He hasn't been seriously evaluating schools yet and seems to be wide open, though Syracuse is one school he'll certainly entertain, Smith said.
Syracusefan.com will keep you updated on these two prep hoopsters.
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