LeChet Phillips isn’t about to try to guess where Marcus Lee belongs at the next level or to project what kind of player he can be, because the voice of genetics isn’t finished in the discussion.
As it stands, Lee, who just finished his junior season on Phillips’ squad at Deer Valley High School in Antioch, Calif., is listed at 6-foot-8, 200-pounds. But Phillips knows Lee can and will get bigger and that could make him even more valuable of a recruiting commodity than he already is. After a strong showing at a Nike Elite Youth Basketball League tournament this weekend in Minneapolis, Lee reportedly collected scholarship offers from Indiana and Duke among others. Lee is the No. 54 rated player in the nation according to Rivals.com and already had an offer from Kansas as well as just about every school in the Pac-12, Boston College, Kansas State, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and a host of mid-major programs from all over the country.
“What’s drawing everybody right now is that his ceiling is unlimited,” Phillips said. “He has a lot of potential, and he’s still growing.”
Phillips believes there’s a lot more growing for him to do. Lee’s parents are tall, his brother Bryan Lee grew to be 6-foot-9 and was a Division II All-American at Grand Canyon University. Phillips thinks Lee’s frame suggest he could grow to at least 6-10, possibly 7-feet.
“Honestly, I can’t even imagine what he’s going to be,” Phillips said. “He is going to grow. Knowing his family, his older brother and mother and father, he will fill out eventually, and when he’s stopped growing he will probably be 230, 235 pounds as well. He’s solid, works out hard. He’s really off the charts, I can’t even speculate on where his ceiling is at this point.”
That’s even more true, Phillips said, because no matter how much Lee grows and what position he fits into, he won’t have a problem playing it.
Phillips said Lee averaged about 14 points, 14 rebounds, and nine blocks per game as a junior, helping Deer Valley to the round of 16 in the state playoffs. He was mostly used at center, considering that Deer Valley didn’t have anyone else on the roster that tall, but Phillips also made a point to use Lee wherever he could to make sure he was experienced at all facets of the game.
“We played him on the wing, we played him at point guard, we played him at shooting guard, every position,” Phillips said. “For his size he has very good perimeter skills. We’re till working on his shot, but he has a solid enough shot out to 15 feet. He can slash and get from the perimeter to the lane real well. His main attribute is he facilitates and gets all of his teammates involved.”
That’s true, Phillips said, whether Lee is working on the perimeter or in the post. Deer Valley played through him in both the high post and the low post because his vision was so good out of both.
“We’ll post him on the block, he can facilitate from there,” Phillips said. “He’ll find our shooters on the opposite side. We’ll put him on the high post and he’ll find the cutters or find the shooters on the wings. He can facilitate a lot from any position. He sees over the top. If a player’s moving around, he’ll find him and get him the ball.”
He’s just as versatile on defense, Phillips said. In high school, he’s used to protect the rim, but he has the footwork to get out on the perimeter and defend wings if need be.
That’s important, Phillips said, because if Lee’s wrong and he stops growing, he will be a small forward, but he’s fairly certain that’s not going to happen.