LAS VEGAS — DaJuan Foster isn’t worried about blue-blood interest or five-star celebrity treatment inflating the ego of his son, Oskaloosa (Iowa) forward Xavier Foster.
To explain why, he gave this recent example:
The Fosters were in the middle of a workout about a week ago when Xavier stopped and turned to his dad.
“He’s like, ‘Oh yeah: Duke texted,’ and just went back to working out. And my heart’s going like this,” DaJuan told the Register at the Fab 48, tapping on his chest over his heart. “That’s just Xavier. He’s so even-keeled.”
While Foster’s head isn’t growing, his recruiting stock is. Duke is the latest power program to express interest; assistant coach Nate James has talked with both Xavier and DaJuan. Kentucky assistant coach Joel Justus has been in contact since June 15, and Michigan State and Ohio State are starting to enter the picture, as well.
Since April, the consensus top-30 2020 prospect has tacked on offers from Baylor, USC, UCLA and Rutgers, joining offers he already held from Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri, Illinois, Texas A&M and Creighton.
The plan right now is to take up to five unofficial visits this August, depending on how Foster’s schedule unfolds. DaJuan said he has told Iowa that they’ll visit Iowa City, and he said they plan to visit Iowa State, as well.
“As parents, we try to make it a point to get him to Iowa and Iowa State when we can because they’re so close,” DaJuan said.
Other potential visit destinations: Creighton, Illinois and Missouri.
Iowa and Iowa State have had a presence at Foster’s Fab 48 games with Pure Prep Academy this week. The Register saw Fran McCaffery courtside for Foster on Thursday and Friday. Steve Prohm and assistant coach Daniyal Robinson also watched him Thursday.
Joining McCaffery on Friday were coaches from Rutgers, Wisconsin and three coaches from USC, including head man Andy Enfield. Ohio State and UNLV watched him on Thursday, too.
Foster said Iowa and Iowa State are in regular contact with him. He also mentioned Baylor has been showing strong interest lately.
For the most part, though, DaJuan handles Xavier’s recruitment because he wants to keep his 6-foot-11, five-star son’s high school life as normal as possible.
So, regarding Iowa, DaJuan said: “It’s going well. I talk to (assistant coach) Sherman Dillard; once a week he’ll text. We’ll communicate back and forth and it’s just a close school so I’m comfortable with them. I like Sherman.”
And regarding Iowa State: “I get texts from Prohm and D-Rob (Robinson) every once in a while — probably about the same as Iowa. It’s almost like they talk (to each other) — I’ll get a text from Iowa State, then Iowa. I don’t know how it happens, but it works like that. One and then the other.”
Perhaps the Fosters’ most memorable recruiting experience thus far came in Los Angeles in early June, when Xavier picked up offers from USC (during his visit) and UCLA (a couple days after his visit).
The Bruins gave Foster his first blue-blood offer. After the visit, the Fosters were particularly impressed with Westwood and UCLA’s campus. DaJuan said head coach Steve Alford’s main pitch was how Los Angeles is a city full of professional athletes and for professional athletes.
“If you’re looking to be a pro, which Xavier says he wants to, they said come to L.A. — that’s the city,” DaJuan said. “They’ve got two pro teams. Pros come to work out at UCLA. It’s just a great place. They said, ‘Hey, if a scout wants to scout someone at Oregon State, you think they’re going to fly up (there)? No, they’re going to come to L.A.’ And it’s UCLA — just the aura. You see Wooden’s triangle of success on the wall.”
Foster is poised for a monster junior season with Oskaloosa alongside 6-foot-9 forward and mid-major prospect Cole Henry.
The Hawkeyes and Cyclones have made it clear Foster is a huge priority for their 2020 classes, DaJuan said. Expect a heavy presence from both schools in Oskaloosa this winter.