The recruiting process for every young athlete has some unexpected twists and turns, and can easily be arduous. A decision of a lifetime has to be handled delicately, though, and that seems to be exactly how Louisiana prep basketball star Galen Alexander approached the last 15 months.
Alexander tweeted Sunday morning that he has committed to LSU, ending a winding road that included a school change, an eligibility challenge and successful appeal, plus myriad coaching changes since the end of the 2015-’16 college basketball season. All of these events kept Alexander’s head swirling, creating a more complicated process than he could have realistically imagined.
Now, all of that is behind the talented 6-foot-6, 215-pound swingman after his pledge to the Tigers.
Alexander is regarded as one of the top two players from Louisiana in the Class of 2017. He spent his first two high school seasons at Breaux Bridge outside of Lafayette before transferring to Lafayette Christian last fall. As a sophomore at Breaux Bridge, Alexander churned out 17.8 points a game and followed that with a strong showing on the summer circuit, which yielded scholarship offers from LSU and several other programs.
When Alexander changed schools, the move stirred up controversy: Alexander’s eligibility at the private school was challenged and delayed his junior campaign. When he was finally cleared in late January, he averaged 13.6 points and 6.1 rebounds a game to lead LCA to a runner-up finish at the Class 1A state tournament.
With his junior season behind him, Alexander was set to focus on another summer of competition and the recruiting process, but several coaching changes created new hurdles.
Lead LSU assistant David Patrick left for TCU. Rick Stansbury took the head-coaching job at Western Kentucky after overseeing Alexander’s recruitment at Texas A&M as an assistant. One of the coaches Stansbury hired was New Orleans native Quannas White, who was Alexander’s contact at Tulane.
Butch Pierre, the longtime LSU assistant, went from Oklahoma State to N.C. State, another school that made Alexander’s list of finalists. Tubby Smith moved from Texas Tech to Memphis, two other schools that had the player’s attention.
Now, though, Alexander is headed to LSU. On his Twitter announcement, Alexander is pictured in a gold LSU uniform under the words ‘Born to be a Tiger.’
— Galen Alexander (@_waterboyg) July 17, 2016
247sports.com’s composite rating lists Alexander as the No. 62 player in the country in the Class of 2017, and No. 14 at small forward.
LSU got good news earlier this week when five-star forward Kevin Knox from Tampa unveiled a list of finalists that included the Tigers. He and Baton Rouge native Josh Anderson, a four-star guard from Madison Prep remain, primary targets from the Class of 2017.