On August 11, five-star 2016 power forward prospect T.J. Leaf tweeted his top 10 college choices: in no specific order, he's narrowed his choice down to Texas, UCLA, Xavier, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Florida, Duke, Arizona and San Diego State.
Standing 6-foot-9 with sharp-shooting skills that match his inside game, Leaf is very similar to Chandler Parsons of the Houston Rockets. Of course, it's too early to tell if he'll match the production Parsons produced at Florida. But with his level of play at Foothills Christian High School and with his AAU team, the Compton Magic, Leaf has drawn a lot of early attention from scouts around the country--just look at his top 10, he covers just about every quadrant of the United States.
Do you see some traces of Parsons?
Last season as a sophomore at Foothills Christian in El Cajon, California, Leaf averaged 26.5 points, 7.3 assists, 12.6 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 3.8 blocks per game en route to earning a spot on the MaxPreps 2013-14 Boys Basketball Sophomore All-American Honorable Mention team. Leaf was also one of the 17 finalists considered for the USA Basketball U17 team this summer before missing the final cut when the team was reduced to 12 players.
ESPN.com gives Leaf five stars and ranks him 21st among all 2016 prospects. Scout.com gives Leaf five stars and ranks him as the 13th best 2016 prospect. 247sports.com gives the El Cajon native five stars and ranks him 16th overall in 2016. And Rivals.com gives Leaf four stars, ranking him 20th among 2016 recruits.
Here is what Leaf's ESPN scouting report says about him (ESPN insider):
Leaf has ideal length (long arms), blossoming perimeter skills, and he is bouncy as well. There is a bevy of upside with this sharp shooting combo-forward. He can knock in shots from all three levels and he handles the ball well in transition.
It's very early so it will be interesting to see how his frame fills out before we project a position for Leaf. He is skilled, but he'll need to continue to polish his skills and get stronger while finishing through contact.
Leaf will draw comparisons to former Florida standout Chandler Parsons, Rosco Allen (Stanford) and former Arizona standout Ricky Anderson."
Because he plays so close to SDSU, Leaf was recruited early by the Aztecs, and SDSU and UCLA were among the very first schools to offer Leaf a scholarship.
Coach Fisher and company have proven the ability to recruit high levels of local talent in the past, most recently signing 2014 shooting guard Trey Kell, who also had offers from Gonzaga, Arizona, Virginia and UCLA.
Leaf is scheduling campus visits for this fall.