Late last month Little Rock, Ark., native and Parkview (Ark.) junior I.J. Ready de-committed from Nebraska and had his sights set on Mississippi State. On Wednesday night, Ready followed his change of heart and committed to the Bulldogs.
The 5-foot-10 and 165-pound point guard became head coach Rick Ray's first commitment for the Class of 2013.
"I committed tonight to Mississippi State and I called Coach Ray and told him I wanted to join his team," said Ready. "I have a great bond with Coach Ray and their coaching staff and me and Coach Ray are alike in a lot of ways. Both of us are outgoing people and we bonded well. He is a straight-up guy, honest and smart and we both love the same subject. He is a math guy and so am I."
Ready took an unofficial visit to Mississippi State this past weekend and that eventually led to his decision Wednesday.
"I went on a visit there Saturday morning," said Ready. "They were concerned about me as a student and not just as a basketball player. Right after I met up with the staff, they sent me right to the academic tutor and she was very helpful and we talked about my academic future. Mississippi State also has great facilities and I met some of their players and they seemed like good teammates.
"I just bonded well with their coaches and players. I talked with (MSU center) Wendell Lewis and they all seemed like good guys. I just felt a good bond there."
Ready said he also held offers from Nebraska, Alabama, Oregon, Texas Tech and Arkansas-Little Rock along with interest from Arkansas and Arizona. He averaged 20.1 points, 5.2 assists and four steals last year and also averaged 25 points and seven assists with his AAU team - the Arkansas Hawks.
Ready also has a previous connection with the MSU coaching staff. His high school coach is the father of MSU assistant coach Wes Flanigan, who he once was committed to when Flanigan coached at Nebraska last year.
"Coach Flanigan played a big role in this, too," said Ready. "I play for his dad and to see Coach Flanigan move to coach at Mississippi State was a positive for me. And then it was just a big bonus this past weekend when I connected with all the other coaches."
Imara (IJ) Ready
Ready said now he can finally put his recruitment in his past and said he has made his final decision.
"It feels great to get it over with and I know where I am going, for sure," said Ready. "It has lifted pressure off my shoulders. Now I can go play every game hard and it motivates me a lot knowing I will be playing for Mississippi State in the future. That is a great feeling to have."
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