There’s still the possibility 5-star Mountain Brook basketball star stays in state for his college career.
Watford announced his final four schools today on Twitter — Alabama, Indiana, LSU and Memphis — and that eliminated Vanderbilt, TCU, Florida State and Kansas from consideration. Auburn has never been a major player in Watford’s recruitment.
The 6-foot-9, 230-pound Watford is the reigning Alabama Mr. Basketball and is averaging 21.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 blocks per game so far this season for Mountain Brook. He’s only playing 22.5 minutes per game and is also shooting 40.5 percent from 3-point range.
Recruiting services Watford him as a power forward, but he fits perfectly into the stretch-4 position coveted in today’s basketball landscape. He possesses superior perimeter skills for a big man and has developed his 3-point shot throughout his high school career.
With first-year coach Penny Hardaway, Memphis has become a recruiting powerhouse and its Class of 2019 includes James Wiseman, the No. 1-ranked player in the country.
Alabama coach Avery Johnson long ago made Watford a priority in recruiting, and the Crimson Tide has excelled during Johnson’s tenure at attracting some of the state’s best talent to Tuscaloosa. The current roster features guard John Petty and Kira Lewis, both from Huntsville, Pelham’s Alex Reese and Herbert Jones, who played at Hale County.
“They’ve been recruiting me for a long time,” Watford told 247Sports, referring to Alabama. “They were the first school to offer. I’ve been watching them, and I like them and how they play.”
Watford has a strong relationship with Memphis assistant coach Mike Miller and told AL.com earlier this year that he’s intrigued with the idea of playing for a Hardaway, who was a 6-foot-7 point guard.
Watford did not sign during basketball’s early signing period in November and intends to make a final decision in February or March, likely after Mountain Brook’s season ends.
Mountain Brook has won the last two straight AHSAA Class 7A championships. This year’s 7A title game is scheduled for Saturday, March 2.
Watford is rated as the nation’s No. 27 player, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.