Class of 2013 small forward Ishmail Wainright has a complicated enough recruitment worrying about where he will go to college, but he is also taking into account what fellow class of 2013 stars point guard Kasey Hill and power forward Julius Randle are going to do.
“Me and Julius have had a relationship since seventh grade and me and Kasey have been close since eighth grade going into freshman year,” Wainright says. “They always told me, ‘wherever you go Ish, we’re all going to go.’ They put it on me but I was like, ‘no, we’ll all sit down and talk about it.’”
However, the trio has talked about that possibility extensively and have come up with a few schools in common that they all like. “Kentucky is one of the main schools and Kansas and I think Baylor,” Wainright says. “And Missouri too, Kasey likes Missouri but I didn’t think he liked them.”
There are also a couple schools in particular who are most likely to land the whole trio. Says Wainright, “I’d have to say Kentucky is the number one school, I think Baylor — me and Julius like Baylor — but I don’t know if Kasey does, all I know is Kentucky is the main school.”
However, if the trio doesn’t go to the same school, Wainright identified who he thought the favorite was to land each player. “It would probably be between St. John’s and UCLA for me, I think Kasey would go to Florida and Julius would probably go to Kentucky,” he adds.
Although the Red Storm and Bruins lead for Wainright, there are others who are standing out to him. “The ones standing out are UCLA, St. John’s, Louisville, Syracuse, West Virginia and Missouri,” says Wainright. “They’re the schools who have been coming to see me and who have been contacting me a lot. They’ve been recruiting me the hardest. There are probably three or four schools who are doing the same thing. Alabama, they’ve been contacting me real hard, West Virginia calls me whenever they can and UCLA is recruiting me hard.”
Wainright also has a good idea of what he’s looking for in his potential college choice. “I want a good relationship with the coaching staff and with some of the players who are also coming in with me,” says Wainright. “[Kentucky head coach] John Calipari is my favorite coach, it’s either between him and [St. John’s head] coach [Steve] Lavin. I’ve been talking to Coach Lavin a lot lately. And UCLA, those are probably my top three favorite coaching staffs.”
Although they aren’t among his favorite coaching staffs, Syracuse and Alabama have done things to stand out too. Adds Wainright, “I’d have to say [assistant] coach [Adrian] Autry from Syracuse and [head] coach [Anthony] Grant from Alabama [are my favorite coaches to talk to when they call]. Just from a relationship standpoint, when we first started talking, we were cool.”
In addition to these coaches constantly recruiting and trying to convince Wainright to come to their school, current college players are recruiting him as well. “I do have a cousin who goes to Mizzou, [senior guard] Marcus Denmon, and another close friend who goes to Mizzou, [junior guard] Michael Dixon, they’re always contacting me,” says Wainright.
Another thing that has factored into Wainright’s recruitment recently has been his transfer to Montrose Christian Academy (Maryland). Changing time zones has made a great deal of impact for him because of his newfound exposure to programs closer to the more prestigious Maryland high school. “Some of the coaches who have been in the gym I never really thought were interested in me,” says Wainright, “like Georgetown and Villanova and George Washington. I never even knew they were interested but they’re in the gym like every day.”
In fact, Wainright attended Midnight Madness at both George Washington and Howard, both local schools located in Washington, DC. Adds Wainright, “Late Night [at Howard] was amazing! It was live and the whole thing was nice. It’s not a big school but they know how to keep their fans and students having fun!”
Wainright also took an unofficial visit to Oklahoma State this past weekend and wants to visit Syracuse and St. John’s in the near future when he has time.
Although he doesn’t have much of a timetable, Wainright does say that he plans on committing after the basketball season during his senior year.
****We are happy to announce that class of 2013 star Ishmail Wainright is our newest player blogger. His first player blog will be published tomorrow and will introduce to you him, reveal previously unknown recruiting news and will give you exclusive access to his life and recruitment. “Ishmail’s Intuition” will be joining three other player blogs exclusive to NRS, including “Brannen’s Bulletin” written by class of 2013 shooting guard Brannen Greene, “Isaiah’s Ideas” by class of 2013 point guard Isaiah Lewis and “Jarnell’s Journal” by class of 2012 power forward Jarnell Stokes.