While so many juniors are committing early, Gani Lawal, a five-star junior from Norcross (Ga.) High School, is trimming his list to three manageable schools.
The 6-foot-8 prospect told Rivals.com on Thursday night after his 18-point performance in a 76-48 win over Northview High School that he's down to Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Wake Forest. He eliminated Duke, Georgia and North Carolina from his list of considerations.
While Lawal isn't in a rush to decide like so many other players from the class of 2007, he said his classmates' decisions helped him decide on trimming his list to a more manageable number.
"I felt like the further I got along in the process, I needed to approach it was more attention," Lawal said. "I'm not getting any younger as the days go by. Cutting it to three makes it an easier decision for me and gives me a chance to focus more on it and my school work."
Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith was at Lawal's game on Thursday at Norcross. Smith was also on hand to see Jodie Meeks, a 2006 UK recruit who scored a game-high 30 points. The whispers have said Meeks's decision to be a Wildcat will have a major impact on Lawal.
"I think that's a little over-hyped in my opinion," Lawal said. "With Jodie, it was his decision and I respect his decision a lot. He did what was right for him. For me, I like them, too. They have a high basketball tradition and I feel like I could make an immediate impact there in the fall of 2007. But his decision is his decision. I'll have to decide for myself. It's really over-hyped."
Make no mistake about it though, Kentucky is certainly in the mix. So is Georgia Tech. Lawal is a regular at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on game day. The Yellow Jackets have made a strong impression on the five-star prospect.
"They are just great overall," Lawal said. "They have great academics and a great coach. Paul Hewitt is great and he has a great staff around him. It's in the ACC, the best conference in the country. I think I could have a major impact there from the start, too."
Wake Forest has crept up Lawal's list over the last four months and did enough to crack his top three.
"With Wake Forest, they have a great coach in Skip Prosser," Lawal said. "They've made me think more about them. They came on strong and I can see myself in the ACC and making an impact there. Like I said, it's the best conference in the country."
Notice a trend with all three programs? Lawal wants to make an impact from day one.
"When I say impact, I'm not expecting to come in and start. I know I need to come in and take my bumps and bruises," Lawal said. "I'm expecting to do that but I think that I can help the team that I go to in a lot of ways."
Lawal won't tip his hat at a direction he's leaning. Nor will he tip his hat on when he'll decide.
"They saw what they wanted and they made their decision about what they wanted to do earlier than I did," Lawal said. "It's definitely made me think about what is the best decision for me. They picked when the time was right for them and that's what I want to do, too. I want to pick when my time is right."