Lazar Haywood Has Options

It was at the Playaz Ball tournament held on the campus of Seton Hall University that many fell in love with the offensive skills of Lazar Hayward, the 6-foot-5 swingman from Buffalo, New York. Hayward, who competed this past summer on the AAU circuit with the GC Ballers, demonstrated that he is one of the best pure shooters in the 2006 class. He also plays for Notre Dame up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

But his offensive game is just one part of his ability to play high division one basketball. "I have been working on my defense and my ballhandling this summer," said Hayward. "I want to work on those two things before I play college ball."

It also appeared that Hayward had become even more consistent with his perimeter play. He was terrific at the Playaz Ball in July, knocking down jumper after jumper.

His skill level is very high and it won't be surprising to see Hayward play in some of the best all star games next spring. "I would love to play in the Jordan (Michael's all star game) game," Hayward said. "I went to the game last year (at Madison Square Garden in New York City).

For sure Hayward is worthy to be considered for such a game. But playing for a big time college program is also on his mind. "I am interested in Marquette, Connecticut, Virginia, Seton Hall, Providence, and Charlotte," he stated. "I hope to visit Marquette on September 23rd and Connecticut on October 1st."

Lazar has kept Marquette as his leader for now. "I really like the style of play and the coaches there," he said. "The coaching staff is very friendly and I have got to know them."

But Connecticut is also a big part of Hayward's recruiting process. "I am looking forward to visiting there," he said. "They have a great program. They also have a great school. Education is very important to me."

But it's early in the recruiting process for Hayward. Connecticut has yet to offer Hayward but could do so while on the visit, according to sources close to Lazar. So depending upon how his visit to Marquette works out the week before, Hayward could become a serious part of the recruiting puzzle for Connecticut.

He has plenty of time to decide and he expects to take his five official visits. "I don't know when or where I will go after my first two trips," he said. "But I would like to take three more visits before making a decision."

It might be hard to hold off on a decision after his first two visits. For now, taking five is part of his plan.

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