For some time now Oak Hill Academy (High Point, N.C.) forward Harry Giles III has been adamant that one of the main reasons his impending decision is so difficult is because among Kansas, Duke, Wake Forest and Kentucky, it’s nearly impossible for him to make the wrong choice.
Giles had originally planned to make his announcement next week, but after news broke Thursday of the partial tear in his right ACL, which will subsequently end his senior season, Giles moved the decision to Friday at noon ET on Sportscenter.
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Since it’s officially the eleventh hour, we gave one committed recruit from each of the four finalists one final chance to sell Giles on why their school is the best possible choice for him.
The Kansas Sell
Mitchell Lightfoot, Ironwood Ridge (Tucson, Ariz.), F
“Harry, I definitely think that Kansas is the place for you. My biggest thing is the tradition; Kansas basketball is always gonna be Kansas basketball. It’s where basketball got its start. Kansas fans are amazing and crazy and love their basketball. They’re at every game and I can tell you from experience that it’s crazy there, which I know you know! I’ve gotten to know every guy on the team; it’s a big family and no matter what we’ll have that support system. We’ve got state of the art facilities where we can work on our games 24/7! Then we’ve got Coach (Bill) Self. What else can I say he’s got the track record, the national title and he’s produced NBA players? Thirty-two of his last 34 power forwards have gone on to have a professional career. It’s a no brainer.”
The Duke Sell
Jayson Tatum, Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis), F
“HG, what’s up man. I’m just hitting you up before the big announcement reminding you that Duke is the best school for you. I mean we’ve got the best coach in the history of college basketball in Coach K, he’s a proven winner, the atmosphere is crazy and we just won the national championship. Me and you are the top two players in the country and we’ll be unstoppable our freshman year, no doubt. We’ll take ‘em to the Final Four and then the national championship so you’ve gotta come to Duke, bro! You’re already one of my best friends and we talk all the time anyway, might as well team up and keep it going at Duke.”
The Wake Forest Sell
Brandon Childress, Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.), PG
“Harry, it’s your boy Brandon, your old teammate and I wanted to get at you and let you know why Wake Forest is the perfect situation for you. OK, look at all of the great Wake Forest players who went on to do productive things in the NBA like Chris Paul, Tim Duncan, Josh Howard and guys like my dad (Randolph Childress). You and Danny Manning have a similar background as far as being the No. 1 player in the country. He’s from the Triad area, and he knows how it feels to be in your position. You’re the new Danny Manning and what better person to learn under than him. No other staff in the country has the professional years as ours; my dad played 15-plus years in the NBA and overseas, Danny Manning played 15 years in the NBA, Coach (Steve) Woodberry played in the NBA and 11 years overseas. Also, Coach Manning was the No. 1 overall pick and everyone says that you’re gonna be the No. 1 pick. It’s the perfect coach to learn under for your future.”
The Kentucky Sell
Sacha Killeya-Jones, Virginia Episcopal School (Lynchburg, Va.), F
“Harry, what’s up, man? Basically you need to come to Kentucky because it’s the best look overall. Coach Cal is gonna take care of you; you know he has that “family first” approach. He’s really close to his players and it’s a lifetime family there. Then we’ve got Big Blue Nation and they’re the best fan base in the country. You’re playing in front of 25,000 fans every night; you can’t find that anywhere else. They’ll be yelling, “Harry Giles!” every night! That’s crazy! Our facilities are great; we’ve got the team house right across the street from the facility so you can get in the gym any time. Coach Kenny Payne is gonna take care of you and develop you even more. Look at all the bigs like you that went on to the league and balled like DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Karl Anthony-Towns, Trey Lyles, all of them. A lot of other places put players in the league but they don’t do it like Kentucky. Thirty-two players in seven years… That’s unprecedented! Come on and join us.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY