For Hammons getting out of Indianapolis and making the move to Oak Hill was the right thing. His Spiece Indy Heat AAU Coach Jared Quarles said that so far the move has really paid off both on and off the floor.
"He has been working on some more post moves," said Quarles. "The game is such a fast pace down there so he is getting used to that which is good. He still has to get his motor up, but academically he has been doing great."
Quarles continued, "He is on the all "B" honor roll. A.J. has a good personality and he has really blossomed at the school because of the small atmosphere. A.J. is a real easy going kid so it wasn't that hard of a transition for him."
Ever since his freshman year the schools in the Midwest such as Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Xavier, Illinois, and Marquette have been after Hammons. Indiana, Purdue, Xavier, and Illinois all offered him a scholarship, and now Quarles says that Hammons' recruitment has picked up from schools in other parts of the country.
For a while many felt that Hammons would stay close to his roots in Indiana when attending college, but now at Oak Hill things have changed from a big picture perspective for Hammons.
"No question he is more open to other schools now," said Quarles in regards to Hammons going to college further from home. "I don't think it is that he was a homebody, it was just that every kid loves to be able to go to school close to home. Now that A.J. made that move to Oak Hill, he does understand that there are other opportunities out there."
While many of Hammons' friends and teammates from the AAU circuit are either committed or nearing a decision, Quarles said Hammons has to take things slower because finding the right fit and the right coaching staff is so important for a true center.
"A.J.'s situation is different because he is 7-feet tall," Quarles explained. "For him it is going to be slower because a school has to fit him personality wise and also the way he wants to play and with the way he needs to develop. So many schools don't play with a center these days. He really needs to find the right place to develop as a big man, so his process is a little bit slower."