Shareef O’Neal is a 4-star recruit and one of the top high school basketball players in the class of 2018. The 6-foot-9 power forward currently has offers from the likes of Arizona, UCLA and LSU.
But his recruiting process isn’t as open as some of his fellow recruits, at least according to his dad, Shaquille O’Neal.
O’Neal, who starred at LSU and was the No. 1 pick in the 1992 draft, recently said on his podcast that he wants his son to consider three schools: Kentucky, Michigan State and LSU.
“I would like my son to play for a coach that’s going to teach him next-level stuff,” O’Neal said on his Monday episode of “The Big Podcast With Shaq.” “I have three in mind: Johnny Jones, LSU, because I know him personally, [John] Calipari and the coach from Michigan State … Tom Izzo. I’ve told my son many times, it’s your decision and it is [his] decision. … I need somebody that’s gonna curse him out, treat him like a man. Those three guys are the ones I would like him to play for.”
Calipari and Izzo have both won national championships and appeared in numerous Final Fours. Jones has yet to win a game in the NCAA Tournament while at LSU, though the most recent No. 1 pick, Ben Simmons, did play for Jones.
Earlier in June, Shareef said that his dad actually wanted him to attend Kentucky. The Wildcats have produced 21 first round draft picks since Calipari took over before the 2009-10 season.
“My dad actually wants me to lean towards Kentucky,” O’Neal said to Sean Scherer of 247Sports earlier this month.”He has a good friendship with the coach there. I know a lot about that school because a lot of kids dream about going there. I like their style of play.”
Shareef is the No. 34 overall player for the class of 2018.
Shaq went more into depth about what he liked about Kentucky on his podcast.
“The reason why Kentucky [was] because the potential my father saw in me and him knowing that I was gonna go to the next level, I definitely see it in Shareef,” O’Neal said on his podcast. “The reason why he trusted me with Dale Brown was because he knew Dale Brown could get me to that next level. Not playing-wise or coaching-wise … discipline-wise.”
In the past Shaq has joked about LSU “paying real well” and he did so again on his podcast.
“LSU pays very well,” he said. “I’m just playing. I’m just playing.”
All recruiting rankings come from the 247Sports Composite Ranking unless otherwise noted.