KENNESAW, Ga. — Jalen Suggs didn’t play in Grassroots Sizzle’s final game Sunday at the Under Armour Association Finals. It was a consolation game, so he and a couple other starters sat to let their teammates get more minutes.
But the Chosen 25 point guard still drew a crowd.
Gonzaga, Marquette, Minnesota, Iowa’s Kirk Speraw and Iowa State’s Steve Prohm and William Small were all courtside for at least part of the game to watch Suggs sit and support from the bench.
Those five schools have started to separate from the pack in Suggs’ recruitment, with Juwan Howard and Michigan also making a late push.
After Sunday’s game, Suggs broke down the latest in his recruitment with the Register, including thoughts on his top schools and which programs he wants to visit.
How are things developing with Michigan?
“Juwan Howard, when he got the job, he hit me up. He was straightforward. He told me that he understands that it’s late in my recruitment, and that he wishes he got the job earlier so we could have started a relationship sooner, but he’d be kicking himself if he didn’t reach out to me. Ever since then, we’ve had a couple good conversations — he’s real cool, gave me good advice.
“Whenever I’ve needed to ask him something, he’s been there whenever I reach out to him. He’s just cool people. That’s one of the parts that I really like about him — he doesn’t really act too much like a coach trying to get a player. He’s really just trying to get to know me, be cool with me, and that’s a big part for me in the process.
“He’s got the experience on where I want to get to. So, like I said, it’s nothing but positive. That’s my guy. So I’m going to continue to build that relationship and we’ll see where everything plays out.”
What’s the latest with Gonzaga?
“We still talk to the coaching staff every day. I still talk to (2020 recruits Dominick Harris and Julian Strawther) every day. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the overseas guys who are coming in in our class, since they were all at the U-19 World Cup, and I got to meet a lot of cool people. It’s still the same impression from when I first started talking to them and when I took my visit. You don’t like Gonzaga; you love it. From meeting all the alumni and talking to the coaching staff, it’s just nothing but positivity on my side.”
What’s the latest with Marquette?
“When they came in for the in-home visit, they really ran down the plan of what it’s going to look like for me. They really just kind of relayed it to (Marquette star) Markus Howard — you got players around you, but ultimately you’re the guy to go to. And he told me, ‘We’re missing that one, big, five-star to really put it all together.’ And one thing that he said to me that really stuck with me, kind of hit home, was that I remind him of (former NBA superstar and Marquette product) Dwyane Wade and the type of impact I could have on that program. That hit home. I appreciate that so much — that’s an honor to get that kind of comparison.”
What’s the latest with Iowa?
“They’ve always been there. They’re one of the first schools that offered me, that recruited me. I’m close with Coach (Fran) McCaffery. Obviously, Coach (Andrew) Francis left (for California), but he made a great impression on me. I know all of McCaffery’s sons, I know a lot of players on the team. I’ve got a lot of people down there. Iowa just has the perfect family feel. When you go down there and you’re looking for a family environment, that’s it. They’re still in it. I’ve had good talks with them. McCaffery came for an in-home visit, and we had a great conversation.”
What’s the latest with Iowa State?
“A real family feel. I love what they’ve done. I watch Tyrese Haliburton — that’s one of my best friends, we’re really close. To see what he’s done down there, to see with a couple of scorers that have gone down there have been able to do, it’s good for me to see. I’m real close with Coach Prohm. He’s good people, he talks to me and my family all the time. They’re in the same boat.”
What’s the latest with Minnesota?
“That’s home. I’m starting to grow real close with Coach (Rob) Jeter. And Coach (Richard) Pitino, we’ve been talking a lot more recently. I went up to practice. I’m sure I’m going to be up at games a lot now that my cousin is there, Tre Williams. They’ve still got that freshman class from last year with Daniel (Oturu), Jarvis (Omersa) and Gabe (Kalscheur). They’re exciting. I think all arrows are pointing in the right direction for them. I love seeing where the program is going, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Any visits on the schedule?
“None on the schedule. But, like I said, it’s just waiting until I get some free time. It’s a real busy time in the year for me. So I’m going to finish this out, have fun with it, finish my AAU season and then go from there.”
Are there any visits you know you want to take?
“I’m going to go to Gonzaga for sure. Get down to Marquette. Minnesota, that’s close to home so I can go there whenever. And then Iowa State, I want to get down to for sure.”
Suggs added that he could also use his two other senior-year official visits and more unofficial visits. Nothing is set in stone right now.
Are you open to new interest?
“I’m still open to it, but it’s getting to that point where, if you haven’t really come, it’s kind of a little bit too late. I know all the people I need to know. And if they’ve had interest in me, they’ve had all the time in the world to kind of commit and talk to me to show that. So right now I’m focusing on the schools that have prioritized me.”