What an event the Nike EYBL is. As we went from game to game at the second session of the EYBL throughout the first two days in Hampton, Virginia, there were star-studded teams everywhere you looked. Future division one basketball players were coming off the bench and multiple teams had a plethora of top-100 prospects.
As we watched all of these top prospects play, we also got the chance to talk to nearly a dozen guys about their recruitment. We talked to class of 2013 small forward Ishmail Wainright about who his parents want at the top of his list, class of 2013 small forward Semi Ojeleye told us what school is standing out to him, class of 2014 center Jahlil Okafor mentioned who he wants to play in college with and many other elite prospects discussed their recruitment with us. The top players in the country from class of 2014 studs point guard Tyus Jones and small forward Wayne Selden to class of 2013 standout centers BeeJay Anya and Kennedy Meeks, we got the scoop on the most highly sought after players in the country.
Jahlil Okafor | Class of 2014 | Center | 6’9 | 270
- Lists offers from “Illinois, DePaul, Michigan State, Ohio State, Arizona, Louisville, UConn, North Carolina, Duke… pretty much everybody.”
- On who’s recruiting him the hardest: “Ohio State reaches out to me a lot, Michigan State, Arizona, Duke and North Carolina. Those schools all reach out to me often.”
- On the most important factor in his recruitment: “Probably the players around me, I want to have good players around me. Academics, I talk to my family all the time about academic programs at each school.”
- On if he wants to go to school with anyone in particular: “Yeah, Tyus Jones, he’s one the of the people I talk to often about going to college together.”
- On if any college players are recruiting him: “They’re not really recruiting me but I talk to Jared Sullinger, he tells me about the program, Draymond Green from Michigan State, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis at Kentucky, they aren’t really recruiting me they’re really just informing me.”
- On which coaching staff he has the best relationship with: “It was Illinois, they were the second school to offer me, but since they’ve left its Ohio State, Michigan State, Arizona and Duke.”
- On whether the Illinois coaching change impacts his recruitment: “It doesn’t affect me, it’s still a school I’m going to look at.”
Wayne Selden | Class of 2014 | Small Forward | 6’5 | 200
- On who has offered him: “UConn, Kentucky, Boston College, Providence, Missouri, Florida, UCLA, Ohio State and a few others.”
- Kentucky winning the National Championship doesn’t impact his recruitment.
- On what type of system he wants to play in at college: “Fast tempo but one that can slow it down and play half-court offense.”
- Says UCLA, Florida and Ohio State are recruiting him the hardest.
- Wants to put a list together by the end of the summer.
- Plans on visiting schools near a tournament he’ll be playing in Kansas over the summer.
Tyus Jones | Class of 2014 | Point Guard | 6’1 | 171
- Lists offers from “Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Arizona, Duke and some others.”
- Will take an unofficial visit to Baylor in a couple of weeks. He has already visited Ohio State, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Minnesota.
- Is a long way from committing or putting a list of schools together.
Ishmail Wainright | Class of 2013 | Small Forward | 6’6 | 220
- On how the Duke offer impacts his recruitment: “That was crazy. When I talked to my mom and dad they basically said they wanted Duke at the top of my list.”
Semi Ojeleye | Class of 2013 | Small Forward | 6’6 | 220
- On who has contacted him recently and who has offered him recently: “UCLA, Indiana and Oregon. UCLA, Oregon and Kansas State have offered recently.”
- Plans on visiting Wisconsin in June and wants to visit UCLA and Indiana.
- On who is standing out to him: “Probably Wisconsin, they were my first offer so they put me on the map.”
- Wisconsin, UCLA and Indiana have been recruiting him the hardest.
- On who he’s looking at the hardest: “Georgetown, N.C. State, North Carolina, Louisville, South Carolina, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Stanford.”
- Lists offers from “N.C. State, Georgetown, Louisville and a lot of others.”
- Wants to put a list together in the next couple of weeks.
- Looking to visit Georgetown, N.C. State and Louisville this summer.
- On what he’s looking for in a school: “A school that’s about winning, they put defense first and they’re a family.”
- On who has contacted him recently: “Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Kansas, Ohio State and Indiana. All of them have offered except for North Carolina and Duke.”
- On what he’s looking for in a school: “A school that takes strength and conditioning seriously and where the big man is the focal point of the offense.”
- On which coach he has the best relationship with: “[DePaul head coach] Oliver Purnell. I talk to him the most and he’s been at my school since he coached my high school coach [DeMatha head coach Mike Jones]. They’ve been to my school a lot and they’ve been working the hardest out of all the coaching staffs. Also, Tom Crean from Indiana.”
- Ohio State offered him Thursday, which is his most recent offer. He also has offers from South Carolina, Clemson, Villanova, Cincinnati, Tennessee, UNC Charlotte, Providence and “everybody in the ACC except for Duke and North Carolina.”
- On his favorite coaching staff: “That would be Clemson, they’ve been talking to me the longest. They’re always around and they’re an in-school state. It used to be South Carolina before [head] coach [Darrin] Horn was fired.”
- Location doesn’t play a factor in his recruitment.
- On what he’s looking for in a school: “A program that gets up and down and gets after it on defense. I want to get on the court as a freshman, I don’t want to sit on the bench. Education, do they have what I want to major in which is broadcast journalism.”
Kendrick Nunn | Class of 2013 | Shooting Guard | 6’1 | 175
- On what he’s looking for in a school: “I’m looking for a coach who I can build a good relationship with, a school with good academics, a place I can develop myself and a school with an up-tempo pace where the guards get up and down.”
- On what he wants to commit: “Hopefully soon, I don’t want to wait too late but just when the time is right.”
- On who he wants to visit: “I want to go down to visit UCLA, see how it is down there. Somewhere where it’s hot though, I’m tired of Chicago’s cold weather.”
- On who is recruiting him the hardest: “Illinois, they’re coming real hard, the people in Illinois are too, just random people say ‘go to Illinois!’ They’re really recruiting me hard.”
Rene Castro | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 6’2 | 185
- Massachusetts, George Washington, St. Bonaventure and Pittsburgh have been in contact recently.
- George Washington is recruiting him the hardest.
- He wants to commit before his high school season next year.
- On what he’s looking for in a school: “I’m definitely looking for a great relationship with the coach and a fast-paced system that scores a lot of points.”
- He says Missouri fits that description the best.
Thomas Wallace | Class of 2013 | Shooting Guard | 6’3 | 190
- On what’s been going on in his recruitment recently: “Lately I’ve been getting recruited by a lot of Pac-12 schools like Washington, Washington State, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and Oregon State.”
- Lists offers from “UC Santa Barbara, Arizona State, Utah, Fresno State, San Jose State and a bunch of other West Coast schools.”
- On what he’s looking for in a school: “I’m looking for somewhere where I can get up and down, play my type of game, a good academic school because I’m high on academics and I want to go far in the class room and on the court at the same time.”
- Looking to visit Stanford, California and USC since he likes their mix of academics and athletics.