Five-star guard Tyreke Evans has grown up quickly. He's been in the national spotlight for some time and the 6-foot-5 has taken on all comers in his much publicized prep career. And after recently completing his junior year at American Christian School in metro Philadelphia, it's crazy to think he's close to entering the college game.
But where will that be? That remains one of the biggest questions heading into the final year of AAU ball for Evans and the rest of the class of 2008.
Evans, the No. 5 ranked player in the class of 2008, has faced the best of the best. He's taken on O.J. Mayo and performed well. He's played Derrick Rose and Eric Gordon and withstood the deadly 1-2 punch of the two guards in the 2007 class. As a rising sophomore, Evans traded buckets with Wayne Ellington and Gerald Henderson.
The list goes on and on. And that is why so many high-majors are hoping to land the Philadelphia native.
While at the NACA tournament in Dayton, Tenn., last week, Evans told Rivals.com he is down to Louisville, Villanova, Memphis, UConn, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Syracuse.
Trying to shrink that list is proving to be a difficult process, he said.
"I was thinking about making my decision at the end of AAU or around the start of my (senior) high school year but I really don't know yet," Evans said. "I'm trying to get it to that final three. Me and my brother will eventually sit down and have talk to see where everybody is at."
Never one to really tip his hand, Evans remains solid that teams are all playing on an even field.
"They are all coming at me hard and coming at me the same," he said.
"I want to make sure if the right coach is there and the right system for me. I want to go to the right place where I can go and play right away. I want to be on the floor."
Evans visited Louisville in the fall and the Cardinals have been one of the most consistent teams in the heated race for the shooting guard.
"It was nice, cool campus. I was down there for the Miami (football) game. It was packed for that. I worked out in their gym and saw their new dorms. They were pretty good," Evans said.
Will the pressure of staying close to home in Philadelphia align Villanova to the top of Evans list?
"It's close to home and it's one of the hottest teams around at home, too. Nova, I like how they work with their guards and how they let them score. I used to work with Kyle Lowry and I like how they used him," Evans said. "I've been to couple of their games and like their coach. Jay Wright is a good guy but I don't know if he's staying or going. I've heard he might get a NBA job so I'll see how that works out."
Rounding out the rest of his list, Evans said he sees positives in all of this other options.
"When you watch Texas, you see Durant. He's an awesome player and they are letting him do a lot of things," he said. "That's what I'm hoping for. Memphis, he's a coach that let's his guys play and let's you learn along the way. You play defense, you perform on the court."
Connecticut assistant coach Tom Moore made the long trip to the Tennessee mountains to see Evans in action.
Whether the trip is easy or not, coaches will be there to see Evans this spring because it is far from over with him. And that's why so many elite programs will be following him step for step in April and beyond.