Two players from Baton Rouge are two of the top senior prospects in the boys basketball class of 2015. Their polar opposite approaches to the NCAA’s early-signing period that begins Wednesday also may spark a few arguments.
Madison Prep’s Brandon Sampson, the state’s top player, doesn’t plan to sign during the November signing period. St. Michael the Archangel’s Jacob Evans, who committed to Cincinnati last month, will sign with the Bearcats next week.
“I’m not at the point where I feel like I’m ready to sign,” Sampson said.
“I’d rather wait until the spring and not rush into something that won’t be right for me.”
The 6-foot-4 Sampson averaged 24.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while leading MPA to a Class 1A runner-up spot last spring.
Sampson has hardly had an idle moment since the Chargers lost to Metairie Park Country Day.
In addition to making the rounds attending summer camps and playing AAU basketball, Sampson has managed to squeeze in four official visits this fall, including one to LSU. His other visits were to Southern California, St. John’s and California.
Sampson, who is rated No. 32 in the ESPN Top 100, said he wants more time to rate his finalists. Sampson is considered to be the nation’s No. 6 shooting guard.
“I want to follow the teams through the season, see how they develop and how I might fit into their style of play,” Sampson said. “I also want to watch the coaches to see their style and how they handle players.”
Evans (6-5) and Sampson have one important thing in common. Both are considered to be shooting guard prospects, even though Evans has played point guard for three years with the Class 4A Warriors.
Like Sampson, Evans also includes LSU on his list of finalists, along with Auburn, Tulane and South Carolina.
But an official visit to Cincinnati in September was a difference maker for Evans, who averaged 20.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 4.0 steals as a junior. He is scheduled to play more of a shooting guard role this season.
“I really liked the players and school,” Evans said. “But the connection with the coaches was the big thing. Something in my gut was telling me this was the right place for me.
“Signing early is the right decision for me. Now I’m looking forward to a my senior year and hopefully a deep playoff run.”
Other basketbal signees
Port Allen High’s Ishmael Lane is set to sign with Northwestern State at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the school. The 6-foot-7 Lane averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds a game as a junior.
Also scheduled to sign Wednesday is another Madison Prep player, Christion Thompson, is scheduled to sign Rhode Island. Thompson (6-3) averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds while playing for Dutchtown High last season.
Walker girls basketball player Baylie Stears (5-11) is scheduled to sign with Southeastern Louisiana at 3 p.m. Thursday. Stears averaged 10 points and 6 rebounds per game.
Capitol and St. Joseph’s Academy are hosting girls basketball jamborees Wednesday.
The St. Joseph’s Jamboree begins at 5 p.m. with Episcopal taking on the SJA JV. Woodlawn vs. Parkview Baptist at 5:45 p.m., Denham Springs vs. McKinley at 6:30 p.m. and St. Joseph’s vs. St. Michael at 7:15 p.m. complete the schedule.
Capitol’s Ladies Jamboree features two games — Broadmoor vs. Southern at 6 p.m. and Capitol vs. Tara, 7:30 p.m.