High school star commits

The GW men’s basketball team received a verbal commitment last month from its first recruit for next season, local standout Ricky Lucas of Herndon, Va. Lucas, who recently transferred to Herndon High School, is a 6-foot-5 swingman who averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game for Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) last season.

GW Head Coach Karl Hobbs declined to comment in detail about Lucas because the official NCAA early signing period does not begin until November, but he did say he received the commitment from Lucas.

“GW is just a perfect spot for me,” Lucas said. “It’s close to home and me and coach Hobbs have a really good relationship.”

Lucas was touted by scouts as one of the top 10 talents in his class as a freshman but was reportedly less impressive in last year’s Adidas ABCD Camp, which is why the value of Lucas’ stock varies depending on the scout. Rivals.com ranks Lucas the 95th best senior in the country, while ESPN.com does not even include Lucas in its Top 100 list.

But after consistent strong performances this year for his Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team, the Fairfax Stars, and a noticeably better showing at this summer’s ABCD Camp, many have started to pay more attention to Lucas. FoxSports.com ranks him 44th on its Top 100 list, calling him “one of the most underrated prospects in the national class of 2003,” and predicts that he could be the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in 2003-04.

Still, Lucas said he feels he is underrated and partially attributes the decline in his stock with some scouts to playing for three high schools in four years. Stars coach Curtis Sydmonds said he is highly optimistic about Lucas’ future as a Colonial.

“Ricky is going to be one heck of a college player,” Sydmonds said. “His shooting is just unbelievable, and I think he’s going to add a lot of points to the GW program down the road.”

Other schools Lucas said he was considering included Rutgers, the University of Connecticut, James Madison and Old Dominion.
Sydmonds said he thought Lucas made the right decision.

“Because Coach Hobbs is fairly new and what he brings coming from Connecticut, Ricky will be coming in at an opportune time,” he said. “Especially when the team is just starting to build.”

Lucas said he will use the upcoming season to prepare for playing at the college level and improve his strength.

Sydmonds said Lucas will have to work on his quickness and his defense, adding, “because the game is so much faster on the college level, he’s going to have to work on his dribble so he can take guys off the ball more often.”

Lucas’ decision to transfer to Herndon marks the second time he has changed schools. He attended Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) for his freshman and sophomore years and decided to leave Monroe Christian this summer after what he described as a bad relationship with his coaches. But academics have never been a problem for him.

As Hobbs awaits the decision of the NCAA Clearinghouse on whether or not freshman Carl Elliot will be academically eligible to play this year, he can take comfort in the fact that Lucas, who has a 3.5 GPA, should qualify to play as a freshman as soon as he graduates from Herndon.

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