Try as they may, it’s a safe bet that, in terms of on-court production, none of the walk-ons at Kansas, Kentucky or UCLA will impact the team’s win-loss columns this season.
But, come next season, they could make all the difference when it comes to having the elite talent in place to win games.
When Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) wing Jaylen Brown, a senior who is ranked No. 2 overall in the ESPN 100, kicks off the first leg of his official visit tour Friday at Kansas the one person Brown is dead-set on having a candid conversation with is the walk-on.
“Relationships sometimes depreciate between the coach and the star player and the coach and the player that doesn’t play as much; like the walk-on,” said Brown, who will visit Kentucky on Oct. 17 and UCLA, tentatively, on Nov. 15. “I really want to know how the coach treats that guy; that will say a lot about the real character of the coach.”
Careful not to chalk that up as “recruit-speak” either; Brown said the coach’s character would be one of biggest determining factors in his decision.
“I’m a really big character guy,” said Brown, who plans to set up more visits later. “I want to be in an environment where the coaches treat every player the same way. I don’t want better treatment because I play more. The walk-ons and the guys who don’t play as much have a big role too.”
They certainly do now.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY