Lewis attracting attention

Published 10:41 pm Thursday, March 26, 2009

With less than three weeks before college basketball’s late signing period, Selma High center Wendell Lewis is still trying to make a decision.

Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury and an Auburn assistant visited the school on Wednesday to check Lewis’ grades and watch him work out.

“He was here all day [Wednesday],” said Selma coach Woodie Jackson. “The visit went great. Auburn was down here also.”

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The 6-foot-9 senior verbally committed to Middle Tennessee State in October and was primed to sign the dotted line during the early signing period in November. He has since reopened his recruitment. According to Selma coach Woodie Jackson, a number of schools have shown interest in Lewis.

“It’s been steady about the same all season,” said Jackson. “Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss — those three SEC schools have been talking to him all year. Almost every school in the Sun Belt [as well].”

Lewis has three schools atop his list — Mississippi State, Auburn, and Sun Belt member Western Kentucky. All three have offered. He has been on official visits to Western Kentucky and Auburn and will take a trip to Mississippi State.

“I like all three of the schools’ programs,” said Lewis. “I like their academics.”

Though coaches were in attendance, they were not permitted to have contact with Lewis. According to the NCAA Web site, basketball recruiting is nearing the end of an evaluation period that began Oct. 6 and ends March 31. During the evaluation period, “authorized athletics department staff are allowed to be involved in off-campus activities to assess academic qualifications and playing abilities. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospective student-athlete are permitted.”

NCAA bylaws permit live evaluations during “regularly scheduled high school, preparatory school and two-year college contests/tournaments, practices and regular scholastic activities involving student-athletes enrolled only at that institution” during the October 6-March 31 evaluation period.

Lewis is expected to reach a decision in the next two weeks. The late signing period begins April 15 and ends May 20.