February 4, 2011

Lacey on hand for Tide hoops win

Huntsville (AL) Butler shooting guard Trevor Lacey remains one of the top uncommitted prospects on the board for the Class of 2011 and the schools pursuing him all continue to wait on the 6-foot-3, 190-pound four-star to complete his tour of visits before he's ready to make a decision. Wednesday night, Lacey was in Tuscaloosa for a quick evening visit to watch the Crimson Tide's victory over Mississippi State and the in-state star came away pleased with what he saw.

"I didn't get to the Coliseum until right before the National Anthem so I really didn't get a chance to talk to anybody before tip-off," said Lacey. "The game atmosphere was great. I was really disappointed that I ended up missing the Kentucky and LSU games since they were both sell-outs but almost every single seat was full at this game as well and the crowd was a huge part of the game. Alabama did a great job defensively at keeping the intensity up and making it difficult for Mississippi State to find easy shots. I think the crowd intensity really affected that."

"This was actually the first Alabama basketball game I have been to since Coach Grant was hired. You can really tell a difference in the pride and ownership those fans are taking with the program. This is a fan base that is pretty focused on football but that night they made it like a mini football game in there."

"After the game, I went into the locker room and heard Coach Grant speak to the team. He spent a little time with me talking to me about the season, how things are going for me and just life in general. He also took me around and showed me some of the new facilities they are working on. It's pretty cool stuff."

Lacey said his relationship with Grant and the second-year Alabama coach's commitment to building a strong and lasting program at the Capstone are major pluses for Alabama.

"I think the thing that separates Coach Grant from a lot of the other coaches I talk to is that he likes a challenge. Every coach talks about wanting to win a national championship but I think Coach Grant isn't just trying to win a championship. He knows that Alabama basketball has to be built from the ground up as a program and he embraced that challenge coming in. He's committed to building up everything from the team attitude to the way they practice to the facilities. He wants to build something that is going to last at Alabama and not just make a run at one good season."

The Crimson Tide's stretch of nine wins in their last ten games has also impressed Lacey, particularly when it comes to the style of play Alabama has utilized during that stretch.

"I have loved what I've seen from Alabama this year, especially since they started SEC play. I like the way everyone really sticks to their roles on offense and that everybody on the floor plays with energy on defense. I can see myself playing in that style. I am kind of a risk-taker when it comes to defense. I like to be aggressive and make plays for my team. If my team loses, I never want it to be because I didn't try to make a play."

Lacey said he doesn't plan on making a final decision until after he's taken visits to his four finalists, which also includes Auburn, Kentucky and UConn.

"My schedule is so crazy right now that I can't really even plan my visits too far in advance. They all end up happening last minute. With playoffs and conference tournaments coming up, it's possible I might not even get to take my next visit until after the season is over. I'm not going to make any decisions until I take all my visits so for now, everything is still pretty much even for everybody I'm involved with."

Lacey is rated the nation's No. 7 shooting guard prospect and the No. 34 overall prospect in the nation by Rivals.com.

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