Blakes nearing a decision?

Blakes nearing a decision?

The Arizona State basketball staff is making a stronger push than previous years into the junior college ranks and guard Gerry Blakes is one prospect the Sun Devils have been recruiting in earnest in the 2014 class. The San Bernardino Valley standout visited Tempe over the last couple of days and talked to Devils Digest about his recruitment with ASU as well as his other suitors.

The 6-4 180-pound Gerry Blakes prepped at Inglewood (Calif.) Morningside and committed to Hawaii during his senior year. Academics forced him to go the junior college route and he landed at San Bernardino Valley.

As a freshman he averaged 16 ppg, 4 rpg and 3.1 apg shooting 41 percent from the field, 32.8 percent room three-point range and 74 .1 percent from the line for the 22-9 wolverines.

"I had a good time and it was fun," Blakes said of his Arizona State visit. "I met with all the coaches, some of the players and the athletic director. I spent most of my time with Jahii Carson and Brandan Kearney and they talked about the player development over there and how they are building a good program that is going to go far.

"I really liked the basketball facility they have there. It really can help you be a better player and that is obviously the main goal. The amount of students there and the big fan support they have was the thing that surprised me the most."

While the Sun Devils have a lot of experience in the backcourt for this upcoming year, following the 2013-14 season they will lose three backcourt players in transfers Shaquielle McKissic and Jermaine Marshall, as well as sophomore Jahii Carson who is a virtual guarantee to enter the 2014 NBA draft. Blakes commented that the ASU coaching staff sees him as a player who can add much needed experience to that group.

"They see me as a combo guard that can bring leadership to the team," Blakes stated. "I can definitely bring scoring, assists and rebounding along with defensive intensity. They need someone to fill that spot once Jahii leaves and I know that I can be that player.

"I feel that I have a real feel for the game and I have great ability in being in control on the floor, leading the team and scoring, but also getting everybody else involved. But I also need to work on everything about my game."

Blakes is coached by former ASU player Quincy Brewer, who according to Blakes has certainly provided information about his alma mater and naturally recommended it to his guard, yet hasn't pushed Blakes to commit there.

The only other school Blakes visited to date was LSU last week, and the San Bernardino Valley player said that he may want to take additional visits before arriving at a decision.

"I enjoyed my visit to LSU the same as Arizona State," Blakes said. "It's also a great school with great facilities. Arizona State is closer to home, but LSU is where my roots are – my grandparents are from there. They are both good schools.

"I recently started talking with UCLA, USC, Washington State and UNLV. I have offers from Saint Mary's, Iowa and Colorado. I'm not sure if I'm going to make a decision between the two schools I visited or am I going to take some more visits. I'm going to take a couple more days to make my decision on what to do to."

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