Columbia's London talks Vanderbilt

PHILADELPHIA -- Tennessee native Makinde London has offers an interest from schools all over the Southeast as well as quite a few from outside the region.

PHILADELPHIA -- Tennessee native Makinde London has offers an interest from schools all over the Southeast as well as quite a few from outside the region.

While at the Reebok Breakout Classic, London listed scholarship offers from VCU, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Tulsa, noting that there are others he could not remember.

The class of 2014 prospect mentioned Wichita State, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Miami, and Xavier as other schools expressing interest. He added that there are others involved as well.

At this point there are few schools standing out to the 6-foot-9 power forward.

"Not really," London said of whether he has any favorites, "I mean, I like VCU and Mississippi State, but I wouldn't say a favorite. Just trying to take in all the options."

London went on to explain what he like about those two schools and also mentioned another one near the top of his list.

"I like the ‘Havoc' [defensive style] at VCU. I just love that atmosphere," London said. "And Mississippi State, I don't know, it's just something—the coaching staff, the recruiters, everything. I just like the feel there. And I like Vanderbilt as well because it's close to my hometown. It's little things about each one."

Speaking of proximity to home, London talked about whether he would like to remain local for his college years.

"It would be nice for some of my close friends and family members to be able to come see me, but it's not a restriction," London said. "If something is far, if I like it enough, I will go. I'm just looking for the right fit."

London went on to talk about just what it is that he is looking for as he surveys his college options.

"Just a good family-oriented feel, somewhere that's going to play develop me, get me ready for the next level, hopefully the next level," London said. "And just a winning organization, good player to coach feeling and a relationship there between player and coach. Winning, a good environment, a good education, trying to get a good education. Yeah, those are the main things."

As of now, there are a quartet of schools that London feels are pursuing him the hardest.

"I'd probably say VCU, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt, and Tennessee as well," London said. "Those are probably the hardest four."

London has had the opportunity to get on campus at a trio of schools in the SEC so far.

"I've visited Vanderbilt, Tennessee—I didn't go on an unofficial visit to Tennessee, but I went to a camp there, saw there—and Mississippi State," London said.

Of whether he has any trips planned, London remarked, "Not yet, but I'll hopefully take some in the fall."

London went on to discuss his timetable for a commitment, which is something that is still up in the air.

"I really couldn't even tell because I'm planning on going to prep school next year hopefully to get viewed me and prepare myself better," London said. "So . . . depending on how that goes, seeing where I could get looks from then."

The four-star prospect, who noted that "it's a definite" he goes to prep school, talked about where he plans to go for his senior year.

"I'm not sure yet, I'm still debating. That's what I'm looking at right now is a prep school for next year," London said. "My main ones are Montverde [Academy in Florida], Prime [Prep in Texas], Huntington [Prep in West Virginia], and Findlay [Prep in Nevada]. Those are my main four."

London also spent some time talking about the Vanderbilt program and the Commodores' pursuit of him.

"Yanni Hufnagel, it's his first year on the staff and he was the first one to start recruiting me and he's been the main one," London said. "And I just like the organization there. I like the coaching staff and everything."

As for Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings, London said, "I like him. I talked to him on the phone just the other day. He's just cool dude, real player to coach love feel. He cares about his players and I like him."

London said that he thinks his Vanderbilt visit was back in mid-June and he spoke about the school's campus.

"It's nice. I've been there [before]," London said. "I go to games all the time. I live right down the street. And so, it's nice. I've seen it, but I like it, yeah."

Finally, London spoke some about the type of player he is when he steps on the basketball court.

"My strongest part I'd probably say is my length, my lankiness. And I was a guard before, two years ago, or really last year as well, I was a guard," London said. "And so I'm just trying to mold my game using those same aspects and working it into the post area. So, being able to be as tall as I am and as long as I am and being able to still do some of the things I do as a guard, I feel like that's my strongest point."

As for his chief weakness as a player, London said, "My weakest I'd probably say is my strength. My strength is my weakness. I'm just trying to build strength, get stronger."

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