LeBryan Nash: I'm Taking My Game To OSU

LeBryan Nash

Travis Ford received some great news Thursday when LeBryan Nash announced on national television (ESPNU) that he would sign with Oklahoma State next month. Nash, the 11th-best high school prospect in the Class of 2011, becomes the highest ranked recruit to give OSU a verbal commitment since No. 2-ranked Gerald Green did so in 2005.

The 6-7, 230-pound standout from Dallas (Lincoln), Texas picked Oklahoma State over Big 12 rivals Kansas and Baylor.

"I, LeBryan Nash, will be taking my game to Stillwater, Oklahoma to play for Travis Ford," Nash said as he pulled out an orange, form Cowboy hat and put it on his head. "I chose Oklahoma State because it's best for me and my family."

"Travis Ford has been recruiting me for so long, since he came (to Oklahoma State), he's been on me. (OSU assistant) Butch Pierre is a great assistant coach. I think I fit in that system. I think I'm going to have the ball in my hands most of the time. I think I just fit in there," Nash said on the ESPNU broadcast.

Nash, who will sign with Oklahoma State during the early signing period Nov. 10-17, becomes the Cowboys' second commitment in the Class of 2011. He joins Karron Johnson of Midland (Texas) junior college in saying they will sign with OSU.

The Cowboys only have two scholarships available in the Class of 2011, but it was widely known that Nash had been the Cowboys' No. 1 target for the past year. He averaged 17.8 points and 10.2 rebounds a game last season as a junior in leading Lincoln High School to a 28-4 record.

He made his official visit to Oklahoma State in August, but has been a frequent visitor to the Stillwater campus the past five years. Former Cowboy point guard Byron Eaton is his half-brother and Nash made numerous trips to Stillwater during Eaton's playing career. Nash made his official visit to Baylor on Sept. 11 and made the trip to Lawrence, Kan., for KU's Late Night in the Phog this past weekend.

"(Byron) played a big role (in me selecting OSU). He told me that Travis Ford was the coach for me," Nash said. "I love it up there (in Stillwater)."

"Nash is a terrific prospect. When he plays hard, he's one of the best players in the country," said Evan Daniels, basketball recruiting analyst for Scout.com.

"He's an elite athlete that with tremendous versatile and a unique ability to score. Nash also has the toughness factor. If he sniffs out fear in an opponent, he usually exploits it by attacking the basket and using his strength, athleticism and ball skills to score," Daniels added.

Assistant coach Butch Pierre has been Oklahoma State's main recruiter of Nash, and was in Dallas on Tuesday to watch him practice with his Lincoln High School teammates. OSU was not the lone college represented as Kansas assistant Danny Manning and the entire Baylor coaching staff also made the trip to Dallas.

Pierre recruited and signed some of nation's top high school players as an assistant coach at LSU, including future NBA players Glen Davis, a top-20 prospect in 2004, and Brandon Bass, a top-15 prospect in 2003. He also signed Stromile Swift (the second overall lottery pick in the 2000 NBA Draft) and Tyrus Thomas (the fourth overall selection in 2006) during his tenure at LSU.

Nash would be the highest-ranked high school player to sign with Oklahoma State since Gerald Green in 2005. The 6-8, 200-pound Green was No. 2 in the Class of 2005, and signed with the Cowboys but never made it to Stillwater because he entered the NBA Draft after his senior year of high school.

Former Cowboy James Anderson, now in his rookie season with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, was the 18th-best prospect in the Class of 2007 when he signed with Oklahoma State.

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