Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis School shooting guard Malik Beasley came out of nowhere the last few months to become one of the most highly recruited players in the country. Entering the summer ranked near the bottom of the class of 2015 Rivals150, Beasley shot all the way up to No. 60 in the most recent update. For a while there, it seemed like a new high-major offer came everyday for him.
With the travel season now behind him, Beasley decided it was time to start whittling that long list of schools down to a more manageable number. On Friday night, he announced that Connecticut, Florida State, Georgia, Oregon, St. John's, UCLA, VCU and Wake Forest were the eight schools that he's going to keep on his list.
"My connection with the coaches and just the atmosphere at the schools were two of the things I looked at," Beasley said when asked what criteria he used to trim his list. "Me and my family decided those eight schools were best for us. There were a lot of others that were good and had great coaching staffs, but we chose the schools that were best for us."
The four-star guard talked specifically about what intrigues him about five of the schools he's decided to keep on his list.
Florida State: "It's a good school. I've gotten to know Coach [Leonard] Hamilton pretty well. We talk a lot. It's close to home, so that's part of the reason too."
Georgia: "That's close to home too. Coach [Mark] Fox does a great job with player development. It's also a good school."
St. John's: "It's a good school. I love Coach [Steve] Lavin and talk to him a lot. It would be pretty cool to play at Madison Square Garden. I've always wanted to play in an NBA arena."
UCLA: "It's UCLA. They have a beautiful campus. Coach [Steve] Alford is cool. Coach [David] Grace is really funny."
VCU: "Coach Shaka [Smart] is a great head coach. It's in Virginia, which is close. They have a great basketball atmosphere."
Beasley mentioned he's starting to set official visits and knows of a couple schools he's going to visit, but isn't ready to release that information yet. While in New York City over the weekend for the Big Strick Classic, he took an unofficial visit to St. John's.
For now, Beasley is comfortable with the eight schools on his list and has his eyes set on a November decision.
"I might cut it down to three at some point, but I might just keep it where it's at and decide in November. How bad the head coach wants me and my relationship with the head coach will be important because he's the one that will play me and help me get to the NBA."
Dan McDonald is a contributing national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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