Springtime, from a high school hoops perspective, always means the start of the shoe circuit season. All three major sneaker companies – Nike, adidas and Under Armour – kickoff their summer leagues on April 16.
But, perhaps even more exciting than the start of circuit ball, is that the graduating class tends to drop the “PC responses” to recruiting questions.
Makes sense, in two months or less most will be checking into their dorm rooms and running through grueling offseason workouts prepping for the 2016-17 season.
Before they invade Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the Jordan Brand Classic Friday, we caught up with a handful of the JBC All Americans and got some straightforward answers about which school they would’ve gone to had they not picked the school they ultimately signed with.
“Ooooooh! Man you want to know that!” said Harry Giles III, the No. 1 overall player in the ESPN 100. “OK. OK. Let’s do it.”
Markelle Fultz, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), PG
If I hadn’t picked my school I would’ve gone to: “Louisville. It was just their style of play and plus they had guys leaving at the point so my spot would’ve been wide open. Plus, it’s the ACC and Coach Rick Pitino is a great coach.”
I went with my choice because: “The coaching staff; they’re like mentors to me and I went where I felt as comfortable as I could possibly be. They came to every game and they made it feel like home.”
Harry Giles III, Forest Trail Academy (Kernersville, N.C.), F
If I hadn’t picked my school I would’ve gone to: “Kansas. Coach Self really does a good job at developing bigs and I felt really comfortable with the team. I could definitely see myself playing there and I know that I’d fit into that system.”
I went with my choice because: “That’s where I felt the most comfortable and that’s the staff I knew had my best interest in mind. Coach K is Coach K. Coach Capel is my man; everybody. I just knew that Duke was where I’d have the most success so that’s why I’m going there.”
Jayson Tatum, Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis, Mo.), F
If I hadn’t picked my school I would’ve gone to: “St. Louis. I just love it there; I love it with a passion. A lot of guys want to leave the city and go to bigger and better places, but I just love the culture there, the city, the coaching staff and the fans. That’s where I’ve been my whole life and that’s definitely where I would’ve gone had I not picked Duke.”
I went with my choice because: “I think Duke was best for my development as a player. Just things like Coach K, of course, the history, the campus life, the fans… Everything.”
Frank Jackson, Lone Peak (Highland, Utah), PG
If I hadn’t picked my school I would’ve gone to: “Utah. I really liked their style, the whole staff was really cool and it’s close to home. Coach Krystkowiak is a good dude too.”
I went with my choice because: “It’s Duke. I’m gonna play for one of the greatest coaches of all time; just the opportunity to learn from him was big for me. My family and I built a strong relationship with Coach K and the whole staff and that was big for us.”
De’Aaron Fox, Cypress Lake (Katy, Texas), PG
If I hadn’t picked my school I would’ve gone to: “Louisville. I love the way Coach Pitino plays his guards; I’ve always said that. That up-and-down style, pressing a lot; I really feel like I would’ve fit in well there.”
I went with my choice because: “Coach Cal gets you ready for the NBA and that’s the ultimate goal. That put him over everyone else. That’s hard to compete with.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY