Note: This article was originally published on Rivals.com.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Most talent evaluators and recruiting experts constantly point to the class of 2011 as the next big-time pool of prospects in basketball. One of the top players in the class, Bradley Beal, is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation – and Missouri is heavily involved.
Beal, the top shooting guard in the class and ranked as the No. 7 prospect overall by Rivals.com, helped lead the St. Louis Eagles U-16 team to the finals of the “Silver” bracket in the U-17 division at the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando in late July.
He is a 6-3, 180-lb. scorer who can get baskets in a variety of ways. Beal is adept at getting the ball on the wing and knocking down deep perimeter shots, as well as driving past defenders along the baseline for acrobatic finishes at the rim. His ability to put up points is second to none in the class, and he is also a solid defender due to his athleticism. Beal runs the floor extremely well and can finish in transition.
“My game is very smooth,” Beal said. “I’m really calm and relaxed on the court. I let the game come to me and I don’t force things. I play really hard every time I step on the floor.”
Beal has offers from Kansas, Florida, Illinois, Purdue, Missouri, Minnesota and Wake Forest, as well as interest from Duke, North Carolina and Arizona. He plans on seeing Kansas, Illinois, Purdue and Florida.
“I’m looking for a school that has a great academic system where I can get my degree,” Beal said. “And a place that has a family-like atmosphere and that plays together as a team.
“I also want a school that likes to run. I want them to play happy as a team, and a team that shows love for each other.”
As for Missouri, Beal said he has seen the campus before and likes what he sees.
“They have a nice campus and nice facilities,” said Beal, who plays for Chaminade High School in St. Louis. “They have an up-and-down style.
“I’m very interested in Missouri. I like their style of play, how they get up and down the floor, and I also like how coach [Mike] Anderson just lets his players play.”
Beal also added that he would “most likely” take an official visit to Missouri, but does not know which other schools would be on that list.
Either way, it is likely that the college basketball community won’t have to wait very long to see what happens with Beal’s future plans – he is ready to get his recruitment over with.
Said Beal: “I would like to make a decision before my junior year.”
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