Lazar Hayward Names Leader

Lazar Hayward, a Buffalo, N.Y. native at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass. named a leader ...

HONESDALE, Penn. -- One of the high risers in the Class of 2006, 6-foot-5 Notre Dame Prep (MA) swingman Lazar Hayward, has declared a leader among his five finalists.

Hayward, who scored 28 points to help the White to a 172-168 victory over the Orange on Wednesday at the Five-Star Honesdale Orange/White Classic, said that Marquette leads Connecticut, Virginia, Seton Hall and Providence.

"Just when I talk to Coach Crean, he says he will make me a better player and a person," Hayward explained. "I think a coach who will be hard on me will be good for me, because it will bring out the best in me and make me compete harder."

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Hayward will return to Notre Dame this weekend to embark on his senior campaign. As a junior last season, he was among the top scorers in the always tough NEPSAC league.

Hayward will be a busy man once he returns to Notre Dame, because a number of his suitors are angling to get him on campus this fall. He's set up a trip to Marquette the weekend of Sept. 23-25, and will visit UConn the weekend of Oct. 15th for the school's midnight madness festivities.

One of his former GC Baller running mates, guard Robert Garrison, enrolled at UConn this fall.

"I think it will be real exciting to visit UConn that weekend, and it helps them a lot that Rob is there," he said. "I wouldn't mind playing with him as my point guard for the rest of my life, plus the school has put a lot of players in the NBA."

Hayward added that UConn is a close second behind Marquette on his list. Virginia sits alone at third, while Seton Hall and Providence are tied for fourth. He said that all five programs have tendered scholarship offers.

Even though it didn't make his list of five, one program with close ties to Hayward is Syracuse. Earlier this summer, the Orange secured commitments from the Niagara Falls (NY) tandem of Johnny Flynn and Paul Harris. Like Garrison, both Flynn and Harris played with Hayward on the GC Ballers, and Harris will join Hayward this fall up at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass.

"Syracuse could hop in there, and I've had some discussions with Coach Boeheim," Hayward said. "My concern there is that they've got some scoring guards in the program already like Gerry MacNamara and Eric Devendorf."

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