Payton receiving ASU interest

Even with a name that clearly points to NBA legacy, Gary Payton II has been a relative unknown in the 2014 recruiting circles. A solid performance earlier this month in the Jerry Mullen Junior College Showcase saw the Salt Lake Community College guard starting to garner more attention from schools, including Arizona State.

"Recruiting with Arizona State is going well," Payton said. "They contacted me and they are very interested in me and I am interested in Arizona State too. So everything is kind of new and we're just checking each other out but it has been going good so far. They came down and saw me (at the Jerry Mullen event) and thought I played well. I was just playing my game. I didn't go off of my game while I was there

"Coach Johnson has been recruiting me and he likes that I am unselfish, that I am a team player, and I am a game changer. He also likes that I make people around me better. I know Arizona State is going to play at a faster pace, practicing with a 24-second shot clock and I like that. I am pretty flexible with any kind of style but I do like playing up tempo so that is a big part in ASU."

The 6-3 180-pound Gary Payton II averaged 9.3 ppg 5.3 rpg and 3.7 apg in his freshman year at Salt Lake. The guard prepped at Spring Valley High school in Las Vegas. Due to academics he attended Phoenix Westwind Prep in hopes to qualify and ended up at Salt Lake where he's scheduled to earn his AA degree in December.

Payton does have some familiarity with ASU through two of its current players.

"I played with Sai Tummala at Salt Lake," Payton commented, "and he is a great player. He shoots the ball very very well. I could count on him to make the shots when we needed them. He is very good with his left hand. I also know Jahii Carson because we played on the same AAU club.

"I haven't talked to them yet about ASU but I plan to."

The guard, who plans to sign his Letter of Intent in November, currently has offers from the Sun Devils and Seton Hall, and said that St. Mary's and his father's alma mater, Oregon State, have been pursuing him in earnest and could be close to offering him a scholarship.

"I am really trying to be open to all schools as long as I fit in with the program and how the team plays," Payton remarked. "I plan taking a lot of visits and after my visits I plan on making my decision. I just don't know which schools I will be visiting yet."

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