For Marcus Lee, It’s Cal (ifornia) vs. Cal (ipari)
For Marcus Lee, it’s California vs. Calipari.
As first reported by Chris Fisher of 247Sports, the 6-foot-8 Lee out of Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley will now decide between the proximity and appeal of California and the tradition and star power of Kentucky.
“It changes every few days,” Brian Lee, Marcus’ brother, told SNY.tv. “It’s a tougher decision than most think. He likes both situations.”
Louisville was axed from his list of three after they landed big man Akoy Agau of Omaha (Neb.) Central.
It is a measure of how desirable Lee is to big-time coaches that he has now cut Louisville, Duke, Indiana, Kansas and UCLA — a virtual Who’s Who of college basketball powers — from his list.
Now, two are standing.
Calipari was in on Monday to watch Lee work out.
“They just watched the workout and are working on building a relationship with the staff,” Brian said.
Kentucky has the appeal of being the defending NCAA champion and sending six players to last year’s NBA Draft.
He is due to visit Kentucky Oct. 12 for Big Blue Madness.
The Wildcats are involved with a number of elite forwards, including Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon and Trey Lyles, as well as Tyler Roberson of Roselle (N.J.) CAtholic.
Then Cal came in to watch Lee on Tuesday and they have the advantage of being the home-state school to which he has already taken an unofficial visit.
“While Cal is comfortable he may have a bigger impact because there aren’t four All-Americans around him,” Brian said. “Kentucky is unfamiliar and a bigger stage. Both are great opportunities, though.”
Cal also has commit Jabari Bird working to recruit Lee and Gordon for them.
“I’m definitely trying to get them now,” he told the Mercury News. “Hopefully, they can be Cal Bears with me. For the most part, both Marcus and Aaron liked the visit a lot. I’m just trying to build on that with them, so I can convince them to come to school with me.”
Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.