Ricardo Gathers' signing gives Scott Drew and Baylor a Top-5 signing class.
April 16, 2012
WACO, Texas -Two-time Gatorade Louisiana High School Player of the Year Ricardo Gathers has signed a National Letter of Intent for 2012-13, Baylor head coach Scott Drew announced Monday. Gathers completes Baylor's four-man signing class, which consists of three ESPN 100 players and is ranked No. 5 nationally by ESPNU, No. 5 by Scout.com and No. 6 by Rivals.com.
Gathers, a standout at Riverside Academy in LaPlace, La., averaged 22.0 points, 17.0 rebounds, 4.1 blocks, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals as a senior in 2011-12 to lead the Rebels to a 33-10 record and a trip to the Louisiana Class 2A state championship game.
"Very few high school players enter college physically ready to compete at the highest level," head coach Scott Drew said, "but Ricardo is one of those exceptions. He has grown-man strength and is a tremendously gifted athlete. He's a remarkable young man that will help keep Baylor among the nation's elite basketball programs.
"We're excited to see Ricardo Gathers in the Green and Gold and know Baylor Nation will love cheering for him next season."
As a junior in 2010-11, the 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward averaged 20.7 points, 16.2 rebounds and 3.9 blocks. He captured Most Outstanding Player honors at the state tournament after leading Riverside to the Class 2A state title as a sophomore in 2009-10, averaging 19.8 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocks.
A two-time Mr. Louisiana honoree by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA), Gathers is rated as the No. 22 overall prospect by 247Sports.com, No. 36 by ESPNU, No. 37 by Rivals.com and No. 42 by Scout.com. He is also rated as Louisiana's No. 1 overall prospect by both ESPNU and 247Sports.com.
Gathers joins Baylor's three early period signees - Isaiah Austin (Arlington, Texas), L.J. Rose (Houston, Texas) and Chad Rykhoek (Fort Worth, Texas). Baylor will return three starters - Pierre Jackson, Brady Heslip and Quincy Miller - from its 2011-12 team that won a school-record 30 games and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the second time in three seasons.
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BAYLOR CLASS OF 2012 SIGNEES (rankings at time of respective signings)
Isaiah Austin (C, 7-0, 215, Arlington, TX / Grace Preparatory Academy)
Overall: No. 3 (ESPNU), No. 3 (247Sports.com), No. 4 (MaxPreps.com), No. 5 (Rivals.com), No. 5 (Scout.com)
Position: No. 1 (ESPNU), No. 1 (247Sports.com), No. 2 (Scout.com), No. 3 (Rivals.com)
Ricardo Gathers (F, 6-8, 240, LaPlace, La. / Riverside Academy)
Overall: No. 22 (247Sports.com), No. 36 (ESPNU), No. 37 (Rivals.com), No. 42 (Scout.com)
Position: No. 4 (247Sports.com), No. 10 (ESPNU), No. 10 (Scout.com), No. 13 (Rivals.com)
Lynden "L.J." Rose (G, 6-4, 185, Houston, TX / Westbury Christian HS)
Overall: No. 63 (MaxPreps.com), No. 66 (Scout.com), No. 74 (ESPNU), No. 77 (247Sports.com), No. 95 (Rivals.com)
Position: No. 10 (247Sports.com), No. 11 (Scout.com), No. 12 (ESPNU), No. 25 (Rivals.com)
Chad Rykhoek (F/C, 6-11, 220, Fort Worth, TX / Fort Worth Christian HS)
Overall: No. 135 (Rivals.com)
Position: No. 23 (ESPNU), No. 29 (Scout.com)