In May, Erik Stevenson talked about how well he bonded with Wichita State basketball coach Gregg Marshall during recruiting visits and talks.
“Me and him are a lot alike,” Stevenson said. “We’re mentally tough. We don’t back down.”
On Monday, Stevenson called Marshall from Los Angeles International Airport to tell him he wanted to spend his college career with the Shockers. He gave Marshall a non-binding commitment after a weekend visit confirmed his desire to play for the coach who put a shooting guard in the NBA in 2016-17 with the New York Knicks.
“They have big plans for me,” Stevenson said. “I couldn’t resist it. He referred to me as the next Ron Baker and everybody knows where he’s at.”
Stevenson, a 6-foot-4 senior guard at Timberline High in Lacey, Wash., announced the decision on Twitter on Tuesday after attending a camp at Utah. He is a member of the class of 2018 and plans to sign a letter of intent in November.
“Coach Marshall, he put in the time and effort to make it feel like Wichita State was my home,” Stevenson said. “I had a lot (of schools) to choose from. Wichita State was the most winning school, in my opinion, that offered.”
Stevenson visited Wichita State last weekend, along with Cordova (Tenn.) forward Rodgerick Brown.
Stevenson averaged around 19 points as a junior on his way to honorable mention All-Class 3A honors. He scored a school-record 45 points in a game last season and is a two-time All-Area selection The Olympian of Olympia, Wash. Timberline played in the Class 3A tournament, the second-largest of the state’s six classes.
“He’s a tough-minded kid with a huge chip on his shoulder,” Timberline coach Allen Thomas said in May. “It would definitely be an excellent fit (at Wichita State).”
Stevenson, ranked a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, added scholarship offers rapidly this spring. Schools such as Utah, LSU, Washington State, Washington, Yale, South Florida and Boise State recruited him.
“I consider myself a knockdown shooter,” he said in May. “A hand up doesn’t really bother me. I’ve worked on it so many times in the gym, it’s me and the rim.”
Brown (6-7) committed to WSU on Monday. He is a member of the class of 2018, but is working toward graduating early and attending college this school year. Stevenson said they talked about recruiting others to join them as Shockers, most prominently point guard Tyler Harris, teammates with Brown in high school.