Brunson talks visits
Five-star point guard Jalen Brunson was one of the top overall performers at the Nike Global Challenge. The 6-foot guard from Chicago (Ill.) Stevenson put on a show with his high basketball IQ and good shooting ability. Now Brunson is about ready to start his college visit process. Overall Brunson showed very well for himself this summer, and he feels his game definitely came along with the new experiences he had, including participating with the U-18 USA Basketball roster that won a gold medal. “I think this summer was a great experience,” said Brunson. “I got to play internationally and also with my AAU team. I got to experience different playing styles and see how people would try and defend me in different ways, it was great.” He continued, “My game is definitely getting better. I am getting mentally stronger for sure. I think I am doing a better job of fighting through when it is late in the game and I am wearing down, so that is big.” Brunson now has all five of his official visits set. He will trip to Illinois August 29-31, Villanova September 4-6, Temple September 11-13, Michigan State September 19-21, and finally Purdue September 26-28. While that will be a busy month for Brunson, he says he is glad to have that process out of the way. “It feels good to know the visits,” explained Brunson. “It is a lot of weight off of my shoulders, but I still have a big decision coming up. This isn’t a one year decision, it is a decision for the rest of my life so it is really big.” All five schools bring a little something different to the table and Brunson is looking for something different on each visit. About the Illini, Brunson said, “I like that they are really starting to get a lot of talent down there and they are developing them. Their freshman didn’t play a lot early, but then they got real productive on the court by the end of the year so that was good to see.” He continued, “Overall I want to see some of the little things about the campus and see how my family likes it down there.” Villanova is a school Brunson is familiar with from his time on the East Coast, and he likes what the program has to offer. “It isn’t that far away from where I am originally from and it is close to where I refer to as home,” explained Brunson. “They have done a great job of developing guards and I like Coach (Jay) Wright and his staff.” The school Brunson has the most familiarity with is Temple. Both of his parents attended the school, so this visit will be a little different. “I just want to see it again,” he said of Temple. “I have been there all of my life. I can’t even count how many times I have been there. I know all of the ins and outs of Temple, so it wouldn’t be tough for me to acclimated if I do go there.” When it comes to the Spartans, Brunson said, “Coach (Tom) Izzo is a Hall of Fame coach. It is hard to not like him. He is a great guy and a great coach, and his players love to play for him, so I am looking forward to that visit.” Also Purdue has a little bit of a different sell, and it is something Brunson finds very intriguing. “At all of the schools I would have an opportunity to play, but especially there I know I have a great opportunity to play immediately,” explained Brunson. “I could also help them get back to where they were a couple of years ago when they made deep runs in the NCAA Tournament.” Look for Brunson to make all of his official visits before coming to a decision, and when he does make his decision it will be about the long term, not the short term. “I just want to see how the schools would set me up after college and what the best opportunity for me would be for the rest of my life,” said Brunson. “It isn’t just about basketball, it is a life decision.” Currently Brunson is viewed as the No. 1 point guard and the No. 16 player overall.
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