Four Recruiting Leaf Hardest

T.J. Leaf

2016 five-star El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian power forward T.J. Leaf says that UCLA is among the group of schools recruiting him the hardest...

Arguably the top 2016 prospect on the West Coast is 6-foot-10, 205-pound El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian power forward T.J. Leaf.

There's been pretty clear progress in Leaf's game over the last couple of years and he's consistently been very productive so far this spring.

"It's been a lot of fun playing up this year; I think I've been playing pretty well," Leaf said. "I feel like I was ready all high school season and even last AAU season so this has kind of been my coming out party.

"I'm doing a good job getting the ball in transition; I'm getting the defensive rebound and going all the way with it."

A five-star prospect, it's no surprise that there are some successful basketball programs already recruiting Leaf very hard.

"There are probably four schools recruiting me the hardest," said Leaf. "UCLA, Arizona, Indiana and Michigan, in no particular order."

Leaf quickly broke down what he likes about all four of those schools.

UCLA: "I've been there a couple times. I like their program and I like coach (Steve) Alford; I like what he's doing with his players."

Arizona: "They obviously have the history. It's a great team and I've heard they have crazy facilities. I'm going to take an unofficial there in August."

Indiana: "I've been there three or four times and they have a great program. Coach (Tom) Crean lets his guys get the ball and go with it and run. The guys get better there."

Michigan: "I just went to Michigan. I loved the coaches and liked the campus. It's a really good program."

Several factors will play into Leaf's decision, although location likely won't be one of them.

"I don't really care if I stay home or not," he said. "It would be a nice bonus, but going away and staying home is pretty much the same to me.

"I'm looking for coaches that will let me play multiple positions and show my versatility. I want to go to a program that will help players get better and help me get to the NBA."

When is the earliest Leaf could make a college decision?

"January," Leaf said. "I want to take an official or two. Maybe if something good came up and I felt it, yes, but there's no timetable.

"I'll probably commit a little early. There's no specific timetable but I do want to get it over with."

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