All Troy Brown Jr. wanted was to go to sleep.
He’d need his rest if he was going to dominate at the Nike Elite 100 in St. Louis, but, almost exactly at the stroke of midnight last June 15, Tony Bradley and the constant soundtrack that was his cell phone made that impossible.
“It kept buzzing,” Brown recalled. “Over and over and over. It was crazy!”
That’s the price Brown paid for having one of the top rising juniors in the country as a roommate at the camp.
“It went on for hours,” said Brown, a rising junior at Centennial (Las Vegas). “Coaches really must’ve wanted him because they were texting and calling him nonstop. I couldn’t believe it.”
He’ll be more inclined to be a believer Monday at midnight when it’s his turn to field countless calls and texts from the droves of college coaches that drool at the thought of landing him.
Brown is ranked No. 6 overall in the ESPN 60.
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The NCAA permits college basketball coaches to make unlimited calls and send unlimited texts to recruits on June 15 after their sophomore year. That kind of access excites some rising juniors but gives others pause.
“I can’t wait,” said Michael Porter Jr., a rising junior wing at Father Tolton Catholic (Columbia, Mo.). “I’ve been waiting on this night for a while; definitely want to see how many calls and texts I get.”
As the No. 2 overall player in the ESPN 60, Porter can certainly expect an onslaught of contact from coaches using everything from direct to original approaches.
“It should be fun,” Porter said of waiting up to hear from college coaches. “I’m sure they’ll have some cool things they’ll say. I think it’ll be cool to start to develop the relationships on our own, and it’ll take a load off our parents who are having to do it now. I can’t wait.”
Former Callaway (Callaway, Miss.) shooting guard Malik Newman can certainly understand the excitement.
Newman, who recently enrolled as a freshman at Mississippi State, vividly remembers this time two years ago when he eventually had to turn his ringer off so he could get at least a few hours of sleep after the tsunami of calls and texts from college coaches.
As a result of that experience he’s got three words for the 2017 class: Proceed with caution.
“It’s cool and fun and all that, but don’t take it for anything but just having fun, at least for that night when they first call,” said Newman, who went on to be named an ALL-USA first teamer and a McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American. “It’s cool to know that John Calipari texted you, Coach K texted you, Coach Roy Williams texted, Coach Ben Howland texted you, Coach Pitino texted you; all that’s good, but, at the end of the day, if they’re not still around after that first month then they were just telling you hi. All the contact can be a lot.”
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Former Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) wing Jaylen Brown refused to be overwhelmed by overzealous coaches.
He was notorious for telling coaches, whether legend or up-and-comer, in no uncertain terms to back-off.
Brown, an ALL-USA first teamer, McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American, eventually settled on California, where he’ll suit up next season.
Troy Brown certainly plans to take heed to Newman’s advice; after seeing what Bradley went through last year Troy said he’s more inclined to be a bit hesitant with the coaches.
“I definitely think I’ll be a little careful,” Troy said. “I can see how it could get out of hand for sure. I know the coaches won’t just be reaching out to me so I’ll keep it all in perspective.”
To that point, Newman offered two words: Copy paste.
“Just know that the coaches are copying and pasting that same, ‘I want you’ text to 10 other players,” Newman said. “We all compare texts.”
Porter said, even in his super-excited state, he knows when dealing with college coaches’ recruiting tactics it’s imperative that you implore the age-old rule of watching actions over words.
“It’s all in fun on the 15th,” Porter said. “My dad is an assistant for Mizzou’s women’s team so I have a great guide on how to handle all the new contact I’ll be getting. I’m approaching this night as a time that only happens once so I’m gonna enjoy it; not taking anything too serious. At the end of the day I’ve still gotta work. Just because coaches are calling doesn’t mean the work’s over. If you want them to be calling a year from now you’ve gotta work even harder. That’s my real focus.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY