Zimmerman Looking Into Visits

2015 five-star Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman center Stephen Zimmerman narrowed his list to a top eight last month, and now is focusing on his AAU season and visiting schools in October...

Five-star center Stephen Zimmerman came out with his top eight a month ago, and since then, his recruitment has died down to a manageable level.

"Yeah, it helped (to come out with the top eight)," Zimmerman said. "Now, I can focus on the schools that I'm very interested in, and think about taking visits.

As for that visit schedule, there's nothing on the immediate agenda for the Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman product. With a top eight of Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, UCLA, and UNLV, Zimmerman has a general idea of where he'll take his official visits.

"I'm probably going to take officials starting in October to the schools that aren't close, like Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, and those schools," Zimmerman said. "I might take more unofficials to UCLA and UNLV, but I've already seen those schools so much, so I'm not sure if it's necessary."

As for what he's looking for in a school, not much has changed since his recruitment started heating up two years ago.

Stephen Zimmerman.
"I'm still just looking for a school that's really going to develop me," Zimmerman said. "My goal is to get to the NBA, and I'm looking for the school that's going to help me get there the best. Any one of the schools in my top eight is going to help me, and I'd have a great time at each."

UCLA has shown consistent interest in the big man over the last few years, even when Ben Howland was still the coach. New head coach Steve Alford has made Zimmerman a personal priority.

"I talk to Coach Alford all the time," Zimmerman said. "He's a great guy, and we have a very good relationship. UCLA has a great tradition, and it's a great school."

His final eight schools are among the most tradition-rich in college basketball, but some have had more recent success than others, with Kentucky being the national runner-up last year, and Louisville winning the title the year before. Zimmerman said that recent success plays a role in his decision, but it's not of paramount importance.

"I would say it's a big factor, but we already know all of those schools are great schools," Zimmerman said. "Even North Carolina, they didn't get to where Kentucky got last year, but we still know they're a great school with a great tradition. I'm blessed to have the top eight that I have, with scholarship offers from each."

This AAU season, Zimmerman switched from DreamVision to the Oakland Soldiers on the Nike EYBL circuit, and the transition has been a positive one.

"It's been going pretty good," Zimmerman said. "I really like playing with Ivan Rabb. Each EYBL I feel I've gotten better and better, more comfortable with the team and the environment."

He does have one specific area of his game he'd like to improve, though.

"My main thing is that I want to be more consistent," Zimmerman said. "I"m the kind of person that will play really well one game, and then the next game, I look like I shouldn't even be in the top 100. That's the big thing I've been working on.

"I honestly think it's mental, and just a matter of thinking everyone is the same. I tell myself I don't get intimidated, but it's part of the game. I just need to work on that."

As for a decision timeframe, Zimmerman has no specific plans.

"Honestly, it's whenever I'm comfortable," Zimmerman said. "I could commit tomorrow, if it feels right."

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