Mario Little will have a huge impact at Kansas University, Kansas State or the University of Illinois.
So says Chipola (Fla.) Junior College coach Greg Heiar, who thinks the Indians' 6-foot-5, 210-pound sophomore small forward will make fans at his future major college fall "in love" with him.
"Mario is a great kid, funny, has no issues. He's a bright young man who has a lot of character, gets along with his teammates and will be one of the leaders of the team," Heiar said of Little, who plans to visit KU this weekend, Kansas State Sept. 14-15 and Illinois Sept. 28-29 before making his choice.
Heiar is as big a fan of Little's on-court performance as his off-court personality.
"Mario can really score," Heiar said, noting Little as sixth man averaged 10 points and six rebounds for last year's national runner-up team. He'll start at the 3-spot this season and is expected to emerge as one of the top players in the juco ranks.
"Mario has good size and strength. He can post up, yet can put it on the floor and shoot it from outside. He really is a scorer from the wing position," Heiar said.
Heiar was game when asked if former Chicago Washington High standout Little reminded him of any players in the NBA.
"When I recruited him out of high school he reminded me of Ron Artest. Not the Ron getting in trouble, but a 6-5 guy who can go in and out, score, defend, rebound," Heiar said.
"My assistant thinks he plays a little like Carmelo (Anthony). Carmelo can face up and score on the block. He's not Carmelo, but plays like that, though."
Heiar said Little could play shooting guard in college.
"It's all about development. Coach (Bill) Self makes a great point. Mario has 14 months before he ever plays a Division I college game," Heiar said. "I think he'll be a 2-3 before it's all said and done."
Heiar said Little knows Sherron Collins and Julian Wright, who both hail from Chicago.
"The key (in recruiting him) is obviously the visit. After the visit coming here and seeing him. He'll make the decision at the end of the month or October. Just them showing they are really serious about him. Talking to the coaches, they are serious," Heiar said.