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May 17, 2011

Lacey breaks down his four finalists

HUNTSVILLE | During his tenth grade year, Trevor Lacey received his first major scholarship offer from the University of Tennessee.

How the times have changed.

On Wednesday, Lacey will choose a school and end his recruitment. Three of his four finalists have brought in a new head coach since that first offer, and the UT coach who extended the offer is no longer with the Volunteers.

Either way, it has been a long journey, and the five-star guard is ready for it to finally be over.

"It wasn't too bad," Lacey said of his recruitment. "I'm kind of ready now to be done with it since I've set up my press conference and more and more people are starting to wonder."

The Huntsville native has narrowed his list down to four finalists: Alabama, Auburn, Kansas and Kentucky. He plans to have all four schools represented with hats, and he'll put on the hat of the school he's going to attend.

Lacey talked about his four finalists on Monday.

Alabama: "Coach (Anthony) Grant is a great guy. He's a great recruiter. The style of play is different. He runs, and he sets it up so I can adjust. They have a great team coming back next year with or without me. They're preseason ranked No. 18 (Rivals.com), and that's pretty good. I don't think Alabama has been that high in awhile. They also have an undefeated home streak."

Auburn: "They have a good coach. They had a down year this year. They had two guards sit out, Frankie Sullivan and Varez Ward, who I know real well. I know what they're capable of. They have Willie (Kouassi) coming in next year, the 6-foot-10 forward, and his brother, and they have some pieces already there. They should be pretty good in the SEC."

Kansas: "Bill Self is a nice guy. His offense is more of pushing and pick and roll, something I like to do to get open shots. He really hasn't had too many one-and-dones, not saying that's what I'm looking for, but people have been throwing that out at me. He's a nice coach, nice guy and when I was there, the players seemed to really be able to bond with him."

Kentucky: "Every year they're going to have one of the best recruiting classes and be a top five team in the country. Coach (John) Calipari is big on the one-and-done and playing freshmen. He's not scared to play freshmen in big situations."

Lacey also indicated that he has eliminated Connecticut from his list and said that North Carolina State and former UA head coach Mark Gottfried came in late, but it wasn't enough to convince him.

Now it's his decision to make, and he plans to make it on his own. Despite all the outside influences and numerous people telling him to go to one school or another, Lacey is going to go where he wants to go.

"Everybody has their own opinion, but they don't have to live there," Lacey said. "They don't have to be in that situation when I'm there. I don't want to be like 'why did I come here for them?' It's going to be my decision."

Regardless of where he chooses to go, the Butler High School star has already set some lofty goals for his time in college, and it's clear that he's not as concerned about getting his shots as he is about winning.

"I'm not going to say I want to come in and shoot every ball, but I feel whatever opportunity I take, I'll be able to get my shots," Lacey said. "I want to be able to help the team, and hopefully win a national championship. That's the ultimate goal.

"The first year, if we can just make it to the Sweet 16, the Elite Eight or the Final Four, that's a big freshman year for anybody as far as any school. It will be nice to have that experience of going to the Big Dance."

Does Lacey know where he wants to go to school? He may have an idea, but he's not tipping his hat quite yet.

"I will probably know at 1:59 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon."

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.


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