Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis forward Kaiser Gates emerged as a high-major prospect early in his high school career, and he's done nothing to change that opinion in the past couple years. Standing at 6-foot-8, his ability to play either forward spot and stretch defenses with his 3-point stroke has several college coaches excited about him as a prospect.
In recent months, Gates has been in contact with most of the SEC as well as other top programs around the country.
"I've mostly been talking to LSU, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, UCLA, USC, Georgia and Auburn," Gates said.
Like most top prospects, Gates has been busy with AAU tournaments and camps every weekend in recent months, including the Pangos All-American Camp this past weekend. He hopes to possibly squeeze some visits later in June.
"I'll be in Houston training with John Lucas for a week," Gates said. "I'll try to take some the next week."
Bruce Pearl had a ton of success recruiting in the Peach State while at Tennessee, and it looks like he's hoping to continue that success now as head coach at Auburn.
"Auburn is the newest offer. My coach told me they have a really good coaching staff and that I would fit their style of play really well, so I'm definitely taking that into consideration as well."
The coaching staff at LSU is selling Gates on possibly coming in and helping them replace losing one of their best players if he were to declare for the draft next year.
"I like the coaching staff at LSU. They told me they have a really good player at my position, Jordan Mickey, and that he might be going to the NBA after next year. If he does, that opens up a spot for me to play a lot if I go there."
Vanderbilt and Missouri were two of the schools recruiting Gates the hardest during his junior season, but both schools had changes on their coaching staffs as Frank Haith left Missouri to become head coach at Tulsa and Vanderbilt lost two assistant coaches. Those changes have changed the dynamics of his recruitment.
"I haven't visited Vanderbilt yet, so I don't know too much about their program. I've built a pretty strong relationship with Coach [Kevin] Stallings and coach Yanni Hufnagel before he left," Gates said. "With Missouri, I haven't been talking to them as much lately. It's not the same as it was before."
The in-state Georgia Bulldogs continue to be a player for the sharp-shooting forward.
"Georgia always seems like they have one player that stands out and makes it to the NBA. I've talked with some teammates and other recruits about possibly going there and helping build up that program."
Gates is hoping to have a strong summer in front of college coaches and earn some new scholarship offers before he starts to make any cuts to his list.
"I'm hoping to play really well in July and have some new schools come in and start recruiting me. After July, I'll probably cut my list down a little bit. I'll probably end up committing sometime during my senior year."
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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