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Transferring shooting guards Damion Lee, Sterling Smith nearing decisions

Calvert Hall graduate Damion Lee seems set on finishing the process of meeting with five schools.

Former Calvert Hall standout Damion Lee spent the past five days meeting with coaches at three high profile programs, yet seems patient enough to finish the process of continuing to meet with the two other schools on the original list that he tweeted out nearly two weeks ago.

The nation’s fifth-leading scorer (21.4 points a game) as a junior at Drexel last season, the 6-6 shooting guard told, a website that covers Louisville basketball, that he's closer to a decision about his future after visiting Arizona and Louisville.

“Both of them were great visits,” Lee said. “I enjoyed both and gained a lot of information about both programs. I went to both schools with an open mind.”

Lee has not returned several telephone messages from The Baltimore Sun since starting to make his recruiting visits to Arizona last weekend and to Louisville on Monday and Tuesday. Riddick, who accompanied her son on his visits, also did not return messages left on her cell phone.

There’s a little more clarity for Lee at Louisville than at Arizona, which is still waiting to hear whether freshman wing Stanley Johnson would return or commit to the NBA draft by the April 26 deadline. Johnson is expected to be a lottery pick. The Wildcats also recruited shooting guard Allonzo Trier, a top-10 player.

The Cardinals lost their top shooting guard late last season when Chris Jones was kicked off the team after being accused of rape (Jones pleaded not guilty). Their top recruit, Donovan Mitchell, is also a shooting guard.

Lee was followed in Louisville by Coppin State shooting guard Sterling Smith, who also visited Wake Forest, Rutgers, and Pittsburgh. Smith, who averaged nearly 13 points a game while shooting over 42 percent on 3-pointers last season, said Wednesday he hoped to make a decision by Saturday.

It seems likely that Smith’s choice will be affected by whether Lee makes his decision. If Lee is Louisville’s top shooting guard transfer prospect, which appears to be the case, Smith would probably opt for Pittsburgh, which saw Durand Johnson (Lake Clifton) suspended before last season for a violation of school policy. Johnson plans to transfer for his senior year.

As for Maryland, Mark Turgeon is looking to replace seniors Dez Wells and Richaud Pack, his two top wing guards and the team’s best perimeter defenders. Lee would likely step into Pack’s position, with junior Jake Layman moving back to the wing from power forward.

If Lee goes elsewhere, the Terps would likely turn to a combination of sophomores Dion Wiley and Jared Nickens, as well as sophomore transfer combo guard Jaylen Brantley, to play alongside first-team all-Big Ten point guard Melo Trimble in the backcourt.

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