The LSU women pulled in one of the South’s top basketball recruits this weekend when Memphis Central guard Danielle Ballard committed to the Lady Tigers.
On the men’s side, it appears Riverside Academy star Ricardo Gathers is headed out of state.
Memphis Central coach Niki Bray said Monday that Ballard, ranked by ESPNU/HoopGurlz as the Class of 2012′s No. 24 prospect, nearly committed to Nikki Caldwell when Caldwell was coaching UCLA last season. After watching Caldwell leave the West Coast for Baton Rouge in the spring, Ballard became interested in LSU.
“Everybody in the country has been recruiting Danielle,” Bray said. “I mean everybody. I think she was torn between LSU and Auburn for a while.”
The commitment of Ballard continues a nice early run for Caldwell on the recruiting front. California prospect Sheila Boykin, a former UCLA signee, signed with LSU last month and will be eligible to play for the Lady Tigers this fall.
LSU men’s coach Trent Johnson, meanwhile, hoped to add Gathers after signing McDonald’s All-American Johnny O’Bryant and Kentucky Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey this past year.
But according to several recruiting websites, Gathers has committed to St. John’s. LSU, Syracuse, Texas and Arizona were among the 6-foot-6 forward’s other finalists.
“I can’t wait to play in New York,” Gathers told ESPN.com. ”Watching the movie ‘He Got Game’ got me really excited about playing there.”
Gathers has led Riverside to the Class 2A state title the past two years. He is considered the top prospect to come out of Louisiana since Class of 2008 star Greg Monroe, who chose Georgetown coming out of Helen Cox.
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