The thing about it was when he sat down and evaluated things - and he's a great student who just finished his term with a 4.3 grade point average - it just came down to the schools that he knows that he wants, and he takes his basketball very seriously and he's ready to get to the next level. He just wanted to take the pressure off and I guess he felt that he knows what he wants to do. He will not give us his decision yet, and we will all have to standby. You know, we were without power the last couple of weeks with Hurricane Sandy and Karl had a lot of time to sort through a lot of stuff and he got to a point where he felt ready to make a decision and move to the next stage of his life. He feels in his heart that he's ready.
A lot of the reports today indicated that a decision has been made recently based on what he has seen with Kentucky…
His decision doesn't have anything to do with the recent games that he's seen. Yeah we saw the Kentucky-Maryland game. Even last night we watched the Kentucky-Duke game, but his decision is based on his own evolution. He has a vision for what he wants to do and it really didn't have anything to do with the games he saw recently. Instead it has everything to do with the last two weeks he was able to be at home and he finally had a chance to really think about what is going on. He really hasn't slowed down since he got back from the Olympics, so when the weeks Sandy came and there wasn't anything going on, he had a chance to really reflect on what he wants to do, that was the deciding factor. It didn't have anything to do with the game on Friday, we were just at a great game, really more as fans than anything. I don't know what came over him, in his mind he said I'm ready to move on with the next phase of my life.
Does this mean that he's re-classifying to either the 2013 or 2014 classes?
I can't really answer that because, honestly, I really haven't looked into that much of it. Are there things under discussion? Possibly, but I can't really answer that because I really don't know what he wants yet. Honestly, since yesterday, I was more in shock that everybody found out, you know how a lot of people haven't grasped what's going on yet, because he took us off guard. I can't answer that question yet.
Re-classifying players recently tend to talk about that evaluation with other schools and their coaching staffs and compliance offices. Have any of you been having that conversation with any school regarding Karl possibly re-classifying?
Honestly, it hasn't come up with any of the schools. It's been a lot of stuff like people saying he could really move up, but could it come up with any schools. It's all based on what Karl decides on December 4th. How we're going to make the move, I really can't answer because Karl is being very secretive about what he wants to do. He's going to be letting us know as his parents hopefully soon what he wants to do. I love my son, he's going to sit us down, the way people found out, I was stunned that it got out, but it's better that it got out now.
When a decision like this comes early, the conjecture is that a decision has been made on a particular school. Has Karl indicated that there is a specific school that he knows he wants to attend?
His quote to us is that there are five schools in his mind, and he's going to decide on December 4th.
Did the reflection period during the last few weeks result in him finalizing that list of five schools?
I think he knew the five schools at the start, but sitting down, he got a chance to put the puzzle pieces together with each school and really figure out which school fits him the best and where he can make an impact. I would say that these last two weeks, he was able to reflect on his basketball career and where he wanted to go.
What kind of things was he sharing with you guys during that two week period?
We had no lights and no power for two weeks - and we got our power back this past Sunday, but for just over 2 weeks we didn't have anything. So for two weeks we were sitting around and trying to figure out what's best for him and then he would go in his room with his flashlight and he watched videos of all his schools. One day he said "I'm ready". So I asked him what he meant, and he said, "I think I just want to do it and I don't want to talk about it anymore because I'm still in my evaluation period."
You get a sense of reality when you have none of the essentials and reality was he was sitting there with no cable, no electricity and he had time to sit back and watch stuff on his phone. He said, he is happy with what he has in his mind and he is going to go with it. This other stuff that's going to come out, as a parent, we're just going to support him with what we know he is happy with.
What do you mean by this other stuff that is going to come out?
I think on that day he's going to outline why he chose a certain school and what was the difference and what he feels he brings to that program and why he feels it's the best decision for him. When you have a sense of reality and you evaluate yourself during those two weeks when we had nothing but each other, I think he had a revelation for what he wanted to do.
What kind of things was he saying to you guys about how he feels about Kentucky?
I think he went silent. I don't think he wants to put anything out on Twitter, because now, it's serious. Honestly, I've heard from every staff today who all think they have a good chance with Karl. North Carolina State called, and Coach Wojo called his coach, Kansas, Kentucky, everybody is calling to ask what happened these last two weeks. Coach Gottfried just was asking me, "how are we looking"?
Are you definitively stating that as of right now, Karl has not made a decision on a particular school?
I'm telling you right now, if you ask me what school he's going to, I'll tell you honestly, I just don't know.
Do you think that he knows?
Oh, he knows for sure. In his mind, and this is a kid with a 4.3 grade point average who is careful and deliberate, who had two weeks with everybody to evaluate…does he have a school in mind? Absolutely.
So you are saying he hasn't shared that school with his family yet?
He hasn't shared yet with us. He knows that he has five schools. You hear him say he has 10, but he knows the five, that's what he's told us.
Who are the Top Five then?
He's keeping it hush hush. He wants to make sure he makes the right choices before he opens it up.
So does he have unanswered questions about those five schools?
I don't think he has questions at this point. He's going to evaluate during this period, but I think he knows in his heart what he wants to do. Honestly, I think he wants to downplay things.
That sounds like he has a specific school in his heart, but you are indicating there's a top five…what is the reasoning?
He may know, but I don't know what he's going to do. When we talk to him, he says there's 10 schools but I know there's a top five because everybody always has a top five. He's not revealing nothing to his parents. He said we gotta wait and see like everybody else.
Is there anybody else advising or helping him with his evaluation for his decision?
We're helping him with his decision as parents, but we're not going to supersede him in his decision. Wherever he goes, we're going to still be in New Jersey, and he's gotta decide where he wants to go because he'll have his own life wherever he goes. We're not going to tell him where to go because that what he asked us to do. He wants to do this by himself in where he feels comfortable in his heart that he wants to go.
Is his decision strictly based on basketball and development in your opinion?
It is not strictly based on basketball at all. It's based on academics, basketball, andhis ability to fit in and to fit into a system that benefits him to let him get as possibly ready to play at the next level. Wherever he goes, he'll get the work done in the classroom because that's the type of kid he is. He's keeping the criteria to himself right now on what he's deciding and then he's going to talk to his parents and we're in his corner 100%, whatever direction he wants to go in. I really don't know what the five schools are and what direction he wants to go in yet.
Karl has talked about the importance of playing on a "well constructed" team in our past interviews. Does he have an accurate picture of what's happening with recruiting at his schools he's considering?
Well, I go back to logistics on that question. There's other things in the making that I can't elaborate on. All I can say is that for the next three years, Karl has broken down every team for the next three years and everybody that they could possibly have. I'm telling you, you sit in that house for two weeks, he had two weeks to talk and write things down on paper for every team who they could possibly have and I'll tell you right now, he's watching everybody who re-classified, he's on top of every commitment and kids signing to schools. He has done his homework and he knows what's going on. It's not like he's just threw some names in a hat at all, he knows how to break things down.
Has he been in any conversation with any other players in either 2013 or 2014 or his class regarding his decision?
He's friends with these guys on Twitter, and they do talk. I don't know what they say to each other on Facebook or Twitter, but what I do know is they do all talk. Tyus Jones talks with Karl, and I know Jahlil Okafor is talking with Karl as well. They are all talking, but I don't know what they are talking about. They could be talking about girls for all I know.