Jerel Stephenson, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard from Glen Hills High School in Augusta, Ga., is a player to watch in the class of 2008.
The class of 2008 prospect was one of the standout's of last weekend's Augusta Spring Icebreaker for the Jermaine O'Neal's South Carolina Ravens 16 and under team.
His 22 points in the championship game helped the Ravens claim their division title. That is the way he would have wanted it, especially in crunch time.
"I'm the type of person that wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line," Stephenson said.
He knows that the next couple of months are important to his recruitment.
"I think it is real important because I know the coaches will be out there and all of the recruiting services will be there," Stephenson said. "I want to play well at the Boo Williams tournament because I know if I play well there, I can get my name out there some more. I want to play well enough to be a top priority for a lot of schools. I want to show that I can play."
Stephenson said he is hearing from Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, Charlotte, Florida, Miami, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. A pair of schools are making an early impression, he said.
"I'm real close to Charlotte. I really like them. Coach (Bobby) Lutz is one of the best coaches in college basketball. I really like their offense," Stephenson said.
"I like South Carolina a lot. They've invited me out to a lot of games. I went out there a couple of times. I like the way they run their offense and their location is nice too. It's really close to home."
Stephenson averaged 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists for a team that started all sophomores.