Matt Lagrone isn't a guy with a national reputation. Heck, he isn't even a guy with a big reputation in his hometown of San Diego. The 6-foot-9, 200-pound power forward hails from a tiny 40-student school called H-Town Christian. Even though he's still under the radar, a half dozen schools have seen the emerging post player and have entered the race for his services.
Playing for California Elite, Lagrone has played at some of the biggest tournaments in the country in April. He played well at the Boo Williams Invitational then made a stop at the Las Vegas Spring Showcase and ended the evaluation period in Dallas at the Next Level tournament. Lagrone feels like he's making his presence known with his play as well as a little help from his AAU coach Dave Miller.
"(My name) is definitely getting out there. A lot of that comes from coach Miller. He knows a lot of coaches and he's telling a lot of them about me," Lagrone said.
Miller is saying good things. The former Southern Cal head coach coached Sam Clancy, a second round draft pick in 2002 NBA Draft, and sees some similarities in the two.
"He compares me to him all the time. He always tells me that we play the same way but he also tells me sometimes that (Clancy) didn't play like I played at this age," Lagrone said. "It's a good motivation to me. For him to compare me to him is an honor but it makes me want to work hard and live up to that."
Lagrone said he relishes in the opportunity to play for a former Pac-10 head coach because it helps him for the eventual transition to the college game.
"He teaches me to do the little things like being on time to meetings. I was late once to a meeting when we were on the road and he made me do push ups. I've learned that I need to be precise on the little things," Lagrone said. "He knows what coaches are looking for and he knows what it takes to get to the next level and I'm learning as much as I can from him."
Creighton, Georgia Tech, Miami, New Mexico, San Diego State and UTEP comprise his early list. Creighton, New Mexico, San Diego State and UTEP have all stopped by to see him recently. San Diego State will likely be hosting Lagrone for a visit in the next couple of weeks the big man said.
Colleges are still trying to find out more about the big man. They can be rest assured he's going to be a guy that pulls down double digit rebounds with consistency. He's also going to be a guy that improves over the summer on the offensive end.
Athletics run in Lagrone's family. Two of his older brothers played college football. His oldest brother recently graduated from Nevada after four years of playing middle linebacker. His other brother will be a senior strong safety at Idaho State. Lagrone said he's a defensive end and will play his senior season with the football team.
Lagrone will be back in action at the Nike Memorial Day Classic in New Orleans at the end of the month. Stops at the Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C. and the Main Event in Las Vegas highlight the July travel schedule. Lagrone said he's hoping to get an invite to either the Nike or Reebok camp as well.