Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Marcus Lee, one of the most sought-after forwards in the Class of 2013, took an unofficial visit to UCLA Saturday and has also set up an in-home visit with Kentucky.
The 6-foot-9 Lee out of Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley visited UCLA along with 2014 guards Jordan McLaughlin and Parker Jackson-Cartright.
“Pauley Pavilion is going to be amazing,” Brian Lee, Marcus’s brother, told SNY.tv. “The team looks like they are ready to do some damage this year. Everyone in the program was great to us, from the coaches to the players to the team managers. The academic counselor was really helpful. There’s nothing bad you can say about it.”
In addition to the official visits reported here for Louisville (Sept. 7), Kentucky (Oct. 12) and Indiana (Oct. 20), Lee will have an in-home visit Oct. 6 with Kansas and Oct. 16 with Kentucky. Brian is also setting up an in-home with Duke.
Brian told the Louisville Courier-Journal that Kentucky has yet to offer, but that Lee could operate there similar to the way Anthony Davis did.
“Just the way they were able to keep (Davis) free with the dribble-drive offense (is appealing),” Brian Lee told the paper. “It opens up opportunities for him. He can dribble; he can shoot. It won’t just leave Marcus to be in the post. That’s one of the best things Marcus can do; he’s so versatile that he can do a lot of things. He likes that he’s not going to be just sitting in the post. He can pass from the high post. He can dribble. He just likes how much it opens things up.”
As for Louisville, Brian told the Courier-Journal that Lee could potentially replace big man Gorgui Dieng, the potential Big East Preseason Player of the Year.
“They press, and they play defense,” Brian Lee said of Louisville. “He loves that side. He loves that they press, and they run. That’s something he’s already used to. Marcus is long, and he runs, so he’s trying to get an offense that fits that. He’s not a guy who’s built for just slamming it inside to all game. He’s not a back-you, back-you, back-you-down guy.”
Indiana, meantime, is selling Lee on possibly following in Cody Zeller’s footsteps
“Cody Zeller is a big man they throw it into a lot,” Brian Lee said. “Marcus just likes how much they use Cody Zeller. (Lee) has a lot of versatility to his game. He’s not quite as polished as Cody is yet, but (Zeller) is the No. 1 pick. (Lee) just likes the way they use him, and he thinks he can have a similar effect, just kind of keep your offense going but also have a big man to throw in to. It’s nice that he can keep up with the pace. I don’t know any big men that could offer a similar replacement to Cody at the moment.”
“… (Playing like Zeller) has been their main selling point, even when we first talked to them. I mean, it does make sense; just look what they’ve done with Cody Zeller.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.