In today's world of high school basketball, we know more and more about players at a young age. Because of the work that the USC staff has done in locking up 2010 and 2011 recruits, they too have the luxury of looking ahead. One guy who has caught their attention at an early stage is Ricardo Gathers.
A 6-foot-7 forward from Laplace (La.) Riverside Academy, Gathers is one of the more highly regarded class of 2012 prospects in the country. Despite early hype, Gathers isn't one to rest on his reputation.
"I just have to build myself up to a level where I can perform every game," said Gathers. "You can't take off one game and then come back scoring 20 or something and then five again the next night."
Built like a high level college end, Gathers is a powerful young man who excels around the rim. When he's not overpowering guys, he likes to use jump hooks with either hand and he's working on extending his game onto the floor. But, right now his team needs him in the post so he's happy to take his time.
Towards next year and my senior year, I'll start stepping out more and showing what I can do," said Gathers. "I think that's part of my game, it's just getting the confidence to stand out there and keep hitting."
Not surprisingly, Gathers has been generating attention from programs all across the country. He's heard from the local schools, most of the Big 12 and so many programs that he can't keep count. While he's in no hurry, a few schools have stood out early.
"LSU, USC and Alabama kind of stand out early," said Gathers when asked if he had any favorites. "I don't really get into all of that, though."
Speaking specifically about the Trojans, Gathers seems to like the Los Angeles location and the Pac-10.
"It's the West Coast, the atmosphere and level of Pac-10 basketball," Gathers told SCPlaybook.com about what stands out about the Trojans. "The Pac-10, to me they play with skill. At USC, or any Pac-10 school really, it's easy to develop that skill set to play on the next level."
According to Gathers he won't look to make a decision until the summer before his senior year at the earliest. When that time comes, he'll be looking at the same things as most other prospects.
"Basically I'm looking at who they are bringing in and if they can be a championship caliber team," finished Gathers. "I'll also be looking at what's best for me. Not just in terms of playing ball, but in terms of going to school and getting that degree."