Top 25 Prospect T.J. Leaf Begins Visits

Oct. 7 -- Scout's 22nd ranked 2016 prospect, T.J. Leaf, took his first official visit this weekend. Scout has the latest on his trip to Louisville and where his recruitment stands with three trips left for the five-star prospect...

T.J. Leaf has begun his official visit process, with one trip down and three to go before the five-star prospect makes his decision.

Leaf, a 6-foot-10, 205-pound 2016 power forward from El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian, officially visited Louisville this weekend.

“The visit went pretty good, especially considering the circumstances,” said Leaf’s AAU coach with the Compton Magic, Etop Udo-Ema. “They have a big time program out there. His family is from the Midwest since he’s from Indiana and that’s not far from there. Some family members came out to see him so that was good.”

This coming weekend, on Oct. 9, he’ll officially visit Oregon.

“They’ve been doing a great job,” Udo-Ema said. “Coach (Dana) Altman and coach (Tony) Stubblefield been really working hard and made a strong impression. They weren’t in the mix at first but have worked their way in. He’s really comfortable and excited about how he would be used there.”

Leaf will be back on the road the weekend after, on Oct. 16, heading to Lawrence to see Kansas.

“I was at the home visit and they did a great job,” Udo-Ema said. “They showed what Kansas basketball is all about and that’s really intriguing to him. I think they did a good job with the visit.”

UCLA has been the presumed favorite for Leaf and the Bruins will get the final official visit, on Oct. 23.

“They’ve been in there for a long time and they have a great relationship with T.J.,” Udo-Ema said. “It’s the geographical logical school. If it’s a great school and it’s right there in your backyard, it’s going to be a player.

“Forget our AAU program, UCLA is UCLA. It’s not like it’s a bad place that doesn’t produce a ton of pros. Everyone is forgetting the obvious. It being close to home helps; a lot of these guys wouldn’t mind having their family at games.”

Even though San Diego State remains in the hunt, Leaf won’t be taking an official visit there due to the amount of unofficial trips he’s taken to the school.

“He’s visited San Diego State a million times,” Udo-Ema said. “They’re still involved. Proximity helps and he’s known that staff since he was a kid; he’s known those guys forever. Familiarity helps and it being local does too.

“I think they’re a little more of a player than people realize. They’ve been around and he likes them. He’s very comfortable with them.”

Even though North Carolina is technically still on Leaf’s final list, he won’t visit the Tar Heels and UNC isn’t in serious consideration, sources say.

According to Udo-Ema, Leaf’s recruiting process won’t go much further than his last official visit.

“He’s been through the recruiting process enough now,” he said. “He’ll commit soon after for sure. He’s not holding out. I would assume it will happen pretty fast after the last visit.”

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