High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: North Carolina Tar Heels

Nerlens' Notebook: G'town visit, Jordan game

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
7:01
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Nerlens NoelESPNHS IllustrationNerlens Noel, the top-ranked player in the ESPNU 100, blogs about his recruiting experience.
Nerlens Noel | Senior | Center | Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)

Read all of Nerlens' Notebooks

After reclassifying from 2013 to 2012, Nerlens Noel went from being the No. 2-ranked junior to the No. 1-ranked senior in the ESPNU 100. Now heavyweight programs like UConn, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse, among others, are scrambling to get Noel on campus next season. That makes him the most sought-after player in the country. Noel has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access into his world by chronicling his thoughts in a blog.

What’s up everybody!

Of course you know it’s Nerlens Noel and I’m back with a brand new blog entry.

By now a lot of you know that I made the Jordan Brand Classic game. I’m really excited to be playing in that game with all of my boys from AAU and high school. Just to be a part of that game is special and I gotta give a big shoutout to Jordan and Nike for allowing me to be a part of it all.

I also got picked to play for the East in the All-American Championship tournament in New Orleans on April 1. I’m excited about that too. Both are gonna be a lot of fun.

I actually just got back from another recruiting visit, this time I went on an official visit to Georgetown. It’s official now because everything’s been processed and I’m officially a member of the 2012 class.

I’m really excited to be a senior.

OK so back to my visit, I got there in the morning and checked into the hotel and that evening we went out to dinner with the coaching staff.

We ended up going to a Caribbean place because they were asking my mom what she wanted to eat and that’s what she picked. That spot was good too. They brought out the sizzling hot skillet for me and I loved the food.

It wasn’t as good as my mom’s food, but it was good. That night I ended up hanging out with some of the players and we ended up playing NBA 2K.

Most people may not know this but I’m a master at 2K, but these guys at Georgetown had all of these updated rosters and I’m not used to playing like that so I ended up losing by two to Jabril Trawick.

That was my first "L" in a while. I wasn’t happy about that.

Sunday I got to watch the team practice and I sat down with Coach John Thompson Jr. That was cool just to sit down with a man like that who’s accomplished so much. He was really knowledgeable. I learned a lot from him in our talk.

That night we all watched Selection Sunday and that was pretty live. Some of the students there had made posters about me and they started chanting “We want Ner-lens!” I thought that was pretty cool.

The best poster was “Bring the flattop to the Hilltop!”

Then when they saw their seeding they all went crazy of course.

Monday I took a tour of the campus and went to all the shops with my mom and we got to eat at the famous Georgetown Cupcake. The line was wrapped way around the place, but I’ve got to tell you guys that those cupcakes were real good!

I had a chance to talk with Coach John Thompson III and he talked a lot about how successful the program had been with big men. He said that they had the blueprint to develop players like me and I’ve got to say that I was definitely feeling what they were saying.

Georgetown was definitely a great visit.

It’s looking like North Carolina will be my next stop and I’m not sure, but I think that I’ll be visiting there March 19-20, but that’s not definite just yet.

After that I’m thinking about taking an official visit to Kentucky. My first visit to Kentucky was an unofficial one so I may take the official visit there this time.

Before I forget, I just want to say that there are definitely a lot of untruths to a certain article that was written about me recently in the New York Times. I don’t really want to even feed in to the negativity.

All I will say is that the negative things in that article just aren’t true. I’m a positive guy and I want to move forward in a positive direction with positive people. That’s it.

On another note, people ask me all the time if I have plans to cut the high top and I’ll let you guys know here and now there are no plans to cut my hair any time soon. I don’t plan to grow it any higher either. I’m just gonna leave it like it is.

OK everybody I appreciate you reading my blog and like I always say, if you don’t read it here directly from me on my blog then it’s not true.

Thanks again everyone, I’ll be back with my next entry real soon.

Don't forget to follow Nerlens Noel on Twitter: @NerlensNoel3

Duke, UNC recruits handicap Round 1

February, 7, 2012
2/07/12
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If you're a college hoops fan, you probably have an opinion on who'll take Round 1 in the sport's most storied rivalry.

The future of the two programs have their opinions as well. So we caught up with every player from Duke and North Carolina’s 2012 recruiting classes and had them make predictions for Wednesday's Duke-UNC game (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Naturally, objectivity wasn’t their strong suit, so we added one 2013 player at the top of both schools’ wish lists, Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) junior Julius Randle, to see who he thought would reign supreme on Tobacco Road.

Rasheed Sulaimon
Courtesy of Andrew ShurtleffRasheed Sulaimon said Duke will sweep UNC this season.
The Duke Recruit
Rasheed Sulaimon
Strake Jesuit (Houston), SG
Who gets the win?
“Duke absolutely wins this game. We’ve been a little inconsistent this year, but I spoke with Coach K recently and he told me he’s got the guys doing 5 a.m. workouts and [he's] really challenging them trying to wake them up to finish out the season strong. I just feel like we’re too talented on the perimeter for them, and I think we’ll get it done in the paint, too. I’m calling the sweep against North Carolina this year. You heard it here first.”

UNC wins if ...
“ ... Michael Jordan leaves the front office for the Bobcats, drives down and suits up for the Tar Heels. And when he does he’s playing like he was in his prime. I’m talking the 'dropping 63 on Boston' prime. That’s the only way.”


The UNC Recruits

J.P. Tokoto
Menomonee Falls (Wis.), SF
Who gets the win?
“I am definitely picking North Carolina in this one. This season we suffered a bad loss against Florida State, but other than that we’ve been playing really well. Our guys know exactly what to do in order to keep Duke off the boards and to guard the 3-point line.”

Duke wins if ...
“ ... The Carolina players drink laxative-laced water before the game.”

[+] EnlargeMarcus Paige
Chris Williams/Icon SMIMarcus Paige said UNC has too much inside for Duke to handle.
Marcus Paige
Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa), PG
Who gets the win?
“Most definitely North Carolina all the way. I think we have too many weapons and too much versatility for Duke to be able to handle what we do offensively. Even though we don’t guard the 3-point line too well at times, I feel like our size will wind up getting to them.”

Duke wins if ...
“ ... They manage to find the special stuff in Bugs Bunny’s water bottle from 'Space Jam'!”

Brice Johnson
Edisto (Cordova, S.C.), PF
Who gets the win?
“No question that North Carolina will get the win in this game. I just think we’ve got too much for Duke to handle inside, and I think that’s the thing that will win the game for us. We’ve definitely got this one.”

Duke wins if ...
“ ... J.J. Redick comes back and plays for Duke and goes 20 of 20 from the 3-point line. He’s got to be 100 percent. Got to.”

Joel James
Dwyer (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), PF
Who gets the win?
“North Carolina. The reason I say that is because our players have the edge in experience. Our guards are bigger and stronger and we know how to handle that type of big stage. I also feel like our bigs will have good games against them, and I think Harrison Barnes will have a big game, too.”

Duke wins if ...
“ ... John Henson, Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and Kendall Marshall all foul out in the first half. That’s the only way they get it done.”

The Objective Take

Julius Randle
Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), PF, undeclared (class of 2013)
Who gets the win?
“Man, I’m being put on the spot with this one! Since they’re playing at home I’m gonna pick UNC in this one. Duke hasn’t been playing their best ball in the past couple of games, so I think this will wake them up and get them ready for the tournament. I do think Duke will win the next one, though.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

Nerlens' Notebook: Back to 2012

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
8:43
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Nerlens Noel | Senior | Center| Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)

After reclassifying from 2013 to 2012, Nerlens Noel went from being the No. 2-ranked junior to the No. 1-ranked senior in the ESPNU 100. Now heavyweight programs like UConn, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse, among others, are scrambling to get Noel on campus next season. That makes him the most sought-after player in the country. Noel has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access into his world by chronicling his thoughts in a blog.

What’s happening everyone, this is Boston’s own Nerlens Noel, and I’m excited to be starting my blog.

Noel
Steve Johnson/ESPNHSNerlens Noel said he wants to decide around the time of the McDonald's All-American game.
By now most of you know that I’ve reclassified from 2013 to 2012. It was official as of Wednesday night. It was something that I had been thinking about for months, and I talked it over with my family and we came to the final decision. I really just felt like I was ready to come back to my original class.

Most people don’t know that I was always supposed to be in the 2012 class, but during my sophomore year I cracked my growth plate in my left knee and that kept me out for around six weeks. I played the first five games of the season and then I missed the rest of the season.

At the time, I thought the best option was to reclassify to 2013 because of all the time I missed, but I worked really hard and I felt like I was ready to come back to 2012.

Basically, I checked on things academically and I made sure that I had all of the credits to reclassify and I have everything lined up now.

I’m really excited about it. It’s weird because now I’m gonna be in college next season. That’s kinda crazy when I think about it.

When I came into the season I wasn’t sure that I was gonna do it, but after playing really well against all of the big time guys last summer and this season it kinda put my decision to come back to 2012 over the top. I know that I’ll be able to contribute right away to whatever college I decide to go to.

Of course everyone wants to know about my recruitment even more now and I’m gonna clear something up; I don’t really have an “official” list. The list I put out is of the schools that I’m really interested in and schools that I’m gonna take official visits to.

Those schools are Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina and Georgetown. I’m visiting Syracuse on Feb. 11, but I’m not sure if that will be an official visit since it’s closer to me. I’ll decide that in the next day or two. I don’t have dates for the other visits. I’ll set those up soon.

I’ll also visit Providence and UConn unofficially, but there could be other visits.

There are things I love about all of the schools.

With Syracuse I love the environment over there. It’s so live. I like the players there and I’ve built a great relationship with the coaching staff. With Kentucky, I really love the fan base. They’re crazy supportive, especially on Twitter. I’ve been building a solid relationship with the coaches there too.

Florida is one of the first schools that started recruiting me. I like the coaches and I like the school. Georgetown has a history that speaks for itself, and I just love their offense. They really do a great job with their big men.

North Carolina has a great history and a great coach in Roy Williams. I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I like the school and I like what they do. They just came in with me recently.

Providence has been on me for a while. I just love what they’re doing there and I’ve got a great relationship with Ricky Ledo, he’s been recruiting me really hard to come there with him. UConn is another one of those schools that speaks for itself. They produce really strong big men, and I think a lot of coach Jim Calhoun and his staff. They really know how to develop their players.

As you all can see this won’t be an easy decision.

I’ve definitely had some players hitting me up since I reclassified. The first player to hit me up was Rasheed (Sulaimon), who’s going to Duke. He was basically just talking about how there would be an open spot for me to come to Duke and how he wanted me to come join him. That’s definitely something I would look at. Duke has been in contact with me, but I haven’t heard from them in a little while.

Archie (Goodwin), who’s going to Kentucky, hit me up too. We didn’t talk directly about Kentucky. We were just talking about video games and talking about the summer.

Things of course have been crazy in the last 24 hours. I think I’ve gained over 1,000 followers on Twitter since last night. It’s funny because I must get about 20 mentions on Twitter every five minutes.

One of the things I thought about was whether I would miss out on postseason all-star games like the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald’s All-American games. I feel like I’m just in time so hopefully I’ll have a chance to make those two games.

We’ll see what happens. I would love to have a decision around the McDonald’s game after I visit all the schools that I want to see.

I know by now there are a lot of rumors popping up about me and my recruitment, but I just want to say that I have no favorites at all. There’s no official list because I’m open to different schools.

Basically, if you don’t read it from me here on my blog, in my own words, then it’s not true.

Well, I want to thank everyone for reading my first blog. I hope everyone liked it, and I hope you guys come back for my next blog, which will be after I visit Syracuse on Feb. 11.

I’ll catch you guys next time.

Don't forget to follow Nerlens Noel on Twitter: @NerlensNoel3

Julius Randle tours North Carolina colleges

January, 9, 2012
1/09/12
10:31
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Julius RandleKelly Kline/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Julius Randle
Julius Randle | Junior | Forward | Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)

Randle Blog 1 | Randle Blog 2 | Randle Blog 3 | Randle Blog 4 | Randle Blog 5

Julius Randle is ranked No. 3 in the ESPNU 60. As a junior, Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), is one of the most sought after prospects in the country, regardless of class, with heavyweights like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio State and Texas all pursuing him hotly. Randle has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to cooking recipes in a monthly diary.

What’s up world.

It’s your boy Julius Randle and I’m kicking off my first blog of 2012.

First, I want to talk about how proud I was that my team and I were able to go down there to the City of Palms Classic and come away with the title. That was a great field and to end up on top was really big for us. Not many people knew about our team nationally, but it really put us on the map.

But then we went to the Beach Ball Classic and we didn’t do too well there. I think we were a little fatigued, but I also think that it had a lot to do with us not being used to playing with a target on our backs. After we won the City of Palms, we got ranked in the POWERADE FAB 50 and now that we’ve gone through what it’s like playing with a target we’re more prepared.

We know that we have to bring it every single game. We all understand that now, and I really think we’re in a good place headed into the Hoophall Classic next week.

I can’t wait to get down there and play against Oak Hill Academy. This might sound crazy, but I’m happy that they haven’t lost yet because we’ll be able to give them their first loss. I’m really confident about our team when we’re playing the way that we’re capable of playing I really don’t see a team in the country that can beat us.

***

After we lost in the Beach Ball Classic my teammates and I went down to North Carolina a day early. I had planned to go down there anyway, but since we weren’t playing anymore we decided to go early and visit N.C. State. I had a great time there with Coach (Mark) Gottfried and Coach (Orlando) Early.

Most of the students weren’t there but those fans still packed the place out. One fan made a really cool sign saying how bad he wanted me to come to State. Just stuff like that was pretty cool to see.

I got a chance to sit down with Coach Gottfried and his message was really simple. He just kept saying “We want you.” He talked about the ways they’d use me there and I liked that he came across really direct.

My boy Rodney Purvis came out to the game with me and that’s always fun to hang out with him. We’re real tight and we had a great time together. I know he wants me to come join him there at State.

That night after I left I went over to Duke and talked with Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) for a good little while. It was a great talk about a lot of different things.

We ended up practicing at Cameron Indoor Stadium that night around 10 p.m. and we had a great time just being on that court. I felt really comfortable playing there and I swear I didn’t miss hardly any shots. It was similar to the way I felt when I was at North Carolina practicing for the Beach Ball Classic.

I was making a lot of shots. So the fact that I couldn’t miss at either Duke or UNC won’t make my decision any easier, Ha ha.

The next morning I went to UNC’s shoot around because they had a game that afternoon. It was cool just to be there and see their routine.

I got a chance to sit down and talk to Coach (Roy) Williams and that’s always fun. He just reiterated how much they wanted me there and he said he was gonna give me the highest praise he could give a high school player by telling me that I work as hard as Tyler Hansbrough did on the court.

I know Tyler was a great player so to be compared to him was awesome. I like Coach Williams’ approach. He doesn’t call all the time, he gives me space and he always says he’d much rather talk to me in person. Coach Williams is just a really cool guy.

I came back later for the game and that was fun. The fans were different there. They were really in to their team, but in a different way. It was really loud and really live. It was really interesting to see how different the fan bases were.

I had a great time at the game. It’s hard not to be impressed with UNC and its fans.

I ended up leaving at halftime to get to Duke for the start of their game. That place wasn’t just packed, it was sold out. Of course their place is smaller, but that place is just crazy.

If I had to compare the environments, I’d have to say that Cameron is the most live. It’s so true what people say about that place and this is with the students not even being there. It was just insane. It’s another level. They chanted my name so loud and their fans knew all about me. I was just like wow.

After the game I got the chance to sit down with Coach K again and we had a long talk. He gave me so many things to think about like getting lower and wider in my stance and being in great -- not good -- shape and how much that could help me.

He showed me clips of LeBron James when he was with Team USA and how they worked with him on getting lower and how much that helped him. I have started using that these past couple games, and I can already tell the difference in how I’m playing.

That night when we got to the hotel I felt like getting some shots up so I ended up going to UNC since my hotel was right near the campus. I shot around with Kendall Marshall and James McAdoo and we had a good time there at the gym.

Kendall took me to his room after that and showed me the famous shoe collection that I hear so much about. I’ve got to tell you all, it definitely lives up to the hype! It made me want to get my shoe game together immediately. That’s the first thing I wanted to do after seeing his shoes was come home and get my shoe game up, Ha ha.

I left that next morning.

All in all, I had a great time in North Carolina visiting all three of those schools. Loved the weather and everything about that area. I may get back down there to see the Duke-North Carolina game. I can only imagine that atmosphere.

I definitely plan to get down to Kentucky and Ohio State too. I can’t wait to visit those schools so I hope those fans are ready to see me.

Well, I don’t have a recipe this time people. I’m sorry about that. I’ll definitely have one for you guys the next time.

I got a chance to read ESPNHS' story on predictions for 2012 and that was interesting what they predicted about me ending up at Duke. I’m not saying that it will or won’t happen, but there’s a good chance they could be right. Who knows, we’ll have to see.

Oh and I also read the Recruit X story at ESPNHS too. Wow, his visit was just like the movie “He Got Game.” I was shocked at how real he kept it, and no I’m not Recruit X.

That will be an interesting series to follow to say the least.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now everyone. I appreciate you reading my blog.

Until next time.

Don't forget to follow Randle on Twitter: @J30_Randle

Britt's college choice will be all business

November, 29, 2011
11/29/11
12:13
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Nate Britt II is unabashed about the fact that he grew up hoping that North Carolina would cut down the nets every year and stand center stage looking up at the JumboTron while NCAA Tournament highlights played using “One Shining Moment” as a soundtrack.

Nate Britt
Kelly Kline/ESPNHSNate Britt grew up an avid North Carolina fan.

“Definitely rooted for the Tar Heels,” said Britt, a junior point guard at Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.).

Britt got it honest; his father Nate Sr. was a big Tar Heel fan growing up watching Dean Smith, Phil Ford and Walter Davis.

“That was my team for sure,” Nate Sr. said. “We love the Tar Heels.”

Still, tonight at 8 p.m. when Britt makes his college decision at Gonzaga Madness, a season kickoff event at the school, his rooting interests won’t factor in at all.

Britt, who is ranked No. 15 in the ESPNU60, will pick between North Carolina, Maryland, Georgetown, Arizona, Villanova and Virginia.

“The fact that I grew up a North Carolina fan won’t play a part in my decision,” Britt said. “It’s all about what’s best for me in the long run. It’s more of a business decision.”

That’s a mindset that Nate Sr. instilled into his son when the recruitment process began.

“It’s not about the dream of playing for North Carolina anymore,” Nate Sr. said. “You’ve really got to separate the two. You’ve got to put the whole thing into perspective and that can be hard for kids at times, but it’s something that we’ve talked about a lot.”

Perhaps that’s why Britt said “it’s not at all hard” to separate being a fan and being a recruit. Or maybe it’s because Britt added that he “was never an extreme fan, just a fan.”

Whatever the reason, Britt is focused on going into the best situation possible and maintains that, at this point, every school is on the same level.

“I’ll make the right decision for me,” Britt said. “Not because I like a school or because a school is close to home. It's about the big picture, not about being a fan."

But sometimes it works out that the college with the best situation just happens to be the dream school. That was certainly the case for the Tar Heels most recent commit Oxford Webb (Oxford, N.C.) forward Isaiah Hicks, a junior forward who is ranked No. 14 in the ESPNU60.

Like Britt, Hicks grew up a North Carolina fan and felt like the Tar Heels made the most "business" sense too.

Hicks committed less than two hours after Roy Williams offered him a scholarship.

"I'm not ruling out anything," Britt said. "We'll see what happens. At the end of the day, I’m blessed to be in this position. I’ve got all of these great schools that want me to come and play for them.”

Now all he has to do is pick one.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN

Offseason Offerings: Kendall Marshall

October, 11, 2011
10/11/11
10:12
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With the offseason in full effect, ballers around the country have begun what is widely regarded as one of the most grueling grind modes of the year as they prepare for the up-and-coming season.

Every week we’ll profile an elite player and have them dish on one of their most unorthodox training methods and explain why it’s been so beneficial.

Next up?
Kendall Marshall
Associated Press/ESPNHSKendall Marshall said dribbling in the dark made him a better ball handler.

North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall.

The Drill: Dark dribbling

The Rundown: “Well, back home my laundry room had a concrete floor and so I would go in there and shut off all the lights and dribble. It was a small space and it was pitch black in there, but I would just stand there doing moves and working on my handles.

As a point guard you've got to see this game from all angles. You've got to see it mentally. So when you can see it without being able to see what's in front of you, you're on your way.”

The Benefit: “It really helps with your hand-eye coordination and getting comfortable with the ball. When you’re out there on the court you’ve got to be worried about pressure defense and traps and things like that so this drill gives you one less thing to worry about on the court.

This drill really jumpstarted my handles. It will definitely help out a lot if you’re trying to improve in that area.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN

Mitch's Memos: Options overload

October, 3, 2011
10/03/11
1:57
AM ET
Mitch McGaryKelly Kline/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Mitch McGary
Mitch McGary | Senior | Forward | Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.)

Mitch McGary is the top-ranked power forward in the ESPNU 100. Headed into his senior season at Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), McGary, has narrowed his list of colleges to Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland and Michigan. McGary has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access by chronicling his thoughts on everything from his recruitment to pop culture in a blog.

McGary Blog 1 | McGary Blog 2

What’s up, world! It’s your boy, Mitch a.k.a. “White Chocolate” a.k.a. “White Thunder.”

First, before I start I just want everyone to know that everything in this blog is 100 percent me. No one writes for me or speaks for me. People come up with the craziest rumors sometimes.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I started school about two weeks ago and so far everything’s going really well. I’ve got a pretty tough schedule, but I’m getting really good help from my teachers. They break it down really well so I’m learning a lot.

I’m so excited about the up-and-coming season because we are gonna be loaded. We’ve got Semaj Christon and Jaylen Reyonlds, and I think both of those guys are gonna have big years. Both are committed to Xavier and, trust me, Xavier got great pickups there. Then we’ve got one of my best friends Jakarr Sampson back with us. He recently de-committed from St. John’s, but he’s definitely gonna help us out a lot this year.

We’ve also got T.J. Warren, and I think he and I will be a deadly duo once we get our chemistry down pat. We’ve never played together and so it takes a little time to get on the same page, but it’s definitely gonna happen. Once our team gets on one accord we’ll definitely be ready to challenge for a national championship.

The last time I wrote, I’d gone on visits to Michigan, North Carolina and Duke.

I haven’t been on any visits since then.

I know there are a lot of rumors out there that I’ve already committed to certain schools, but I can honestly tell you guys that I don’t know where I want to go. I have not committed anywhere so that’s just not true.

I have had a lot of the schools on my list come to the school to see me.

Duke has been up here the most. I really like what Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) has been talking to me about. He’s about to be the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history and that’s just really impressive to me. That’s something that stays on my mind. After Duke, Michigan has been here to see me the second most and I know that Michigan will be good too. They’re in the rebuilding stage and Coach (John) Beilein is another guy I really respect and like. They’re moving up in the rankings too.

Mitch McGary
Kelly Kline/ESPNHSMitch McGary continues to weigh his options.

Maryland has probably visited me the third most and I really like their program and think they’re headed in the right direction. Also, Coach (Billy) Donovan was up here a couple weeks ago and he’s done a really good job showing me what he’s done in the last few years developing talent. I really like what he’s been saying.

North Carolina has been up here too. They just got a commitment from Joel James, which will be a great situation for him. I want to definitely give Joel a shoutout.

As far as more visits, I don’t think I’ll be making any. I’m not gonna go to Kentucky’s Midnight Madness, I feel like I have all the information that I need to start to think about a decision. Within the next month I hope to have a decision made.

This decision will be really hard to say the least. I’m gonna let you guys in on a few things I’ll be thinking about throughout the process.

To start off, Duke has a lot to offer. They’ve got the Plumlees there, but Miles is a senior and Mason has a really good chance at going pro after this season. Then they’ve got their younger brother Marshall, who is very, very tall and skilled. I think I could go in there and make a great duo with Marshall and we could make a lot of noise together. I love that Duke likes to get out in transition and run too. That’s a big plus.

Then you’ve got Michigan. I look at who they’ve got coming in and I know they’re in a rebuilding situation, but I know that’s a situation where I could really come in and make a strong footprint. I feel like I could really help them and have a strong season there as a freshman. I like the Big Ten because it’s known for having blue-collar type players, but the pace tends to be a little slower. I love to go to work in the paint, but I like to get out and run more so with Michigan that’s something that I’ll have to really look at.

Then North Carolina has some great guys coming in with Marcus Paige and J.P. Tokoto and now Joel James. People think that me and T.J. have some sort of package deal going on for North Carolina, but that’s not true at all. I do think about playing with T.J. in college and of course we’re both considering North Carolina so I guess that’s where it comes from. I will say this though, I’ve definitely thought about it.

Carolina likes for their big men to get out in transition and run the floor, which is what I want to do.

With Maryland, I love that they fed the post a lot last year with Jordan Williams. They also get out in transition. Same with Florida, they play a really fast tempo.

So as you all can see, this won’t be an easy decision. I do know that whenever I commit I’m gonna be one of those guys that recruits for the school I pick. I definitely won’t force the school on guys I’ll just brag about it a lot.

OK, so you know it’s time for my music review and I’ve got to tell you all that Jay-Z and Kanye’s album “Watch the Throne” is definitely something that you’ve got to have on your play lists.

I just love the way they incorporate other artists like the song “Otis.” It gives you that old school mixed in with today’s music. I think that’s pretty dope.

Of course it’s Jay and Kanye so the lyrics are crazy too. I think that this one will go down as an all-time classic just because it’s a quality album and it’s by those two rap heavyweights.

The other album I want to tell you all about is J. Cole’s “Cole World: The Sideline Story.” I just got it recently, but that album is great. It’s one of those albums that you can just let play through and you don’t have to skip any songs on it.

J. Cole is a deep rapper and he raps about real life situations that most of us can relate to on some level. He’s a great lyricist too. That’s a definite buy so go pick that one up too.

OK, guys well as always I truly appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. As I said, I’m taking this time to talk things over with my family and weigh out what the best decision for me will be. You've got people out there saying I've decided and there's a leader and that's NOT true.

I want to shoutout all of my fans on Twitter. I appreciate you all cheering me on and sending me messages. That means a lot to me.

Take care everyone and check back soon for my next entry.

Don't forget to follow McGary on Twitter: @MitchMcGary33

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