Among the schools he's considering are Xavier, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Michigan, Florida, Ohio State, Georgia, Cincinnati and Virginia, which have all offered McCauley a scholarship. He said he doesn't have a favorite among those: "I wouldn't say I have a favorite. I want to be able to go into the period when I'm going to take my official visits with the schools equal, all on a level playing field. I'm going to talk with my parents and my coaches and we'll come up with the five schools I'll visit."
He did, though, provide us some hints as to which schools would be favored for his official visits: "I think probably NC State and Xavier. Those two are probably certainties. They've been recruiting me a long time, before my junior year, and I really appreciate that and have gotten to know those programs well. Then probably UCLA, since it's the one that's far away and I want to see it. I want to see what life is like on the west coast and if it's for me. I'm not real sure if I want to go there, but I want to check it out. The last two I'm not real sure."
College coaches can now start calling prospects in the 2005 class and McCauley said he's been spending a great deal of time on the phone in the last several days. "Coach Howland from UCLA, Coach Matta from Ohio State, Coach Sendek from NC State, Coach Miller from Xavier, a coach from Michigan and a coach from Virginia have all called. But before I left for the AAU Nationals (in late July), I talked with coaches from Florida, Georgia and Cincinnati. So I've talked to just about every school I'm considering."
The 6-9, 230-pounder said the fact that NC State, Xavier and Pitt have been recruiting him for so long was important to him. "I'm not saying that all the other schools are jumping on the bandwagon or anything, but those three have been showing me interest for a long time, back when others weren't. And that means something. I've also gotten to know those programs really well. I visited Xavier and NC State unofficially last year."
McCauley, who averaged 27 points, 17 rebounds and four assists a game as a junior, said that "having a good relationship with the head coach" will be a big factor in his decision.
When asked if there were some coaches that stood out to him, McCauley said, "Maybe coach Sendek from NC State and Coach Miller from Xavier. They're both Pittsburgh natives. I've talked to them a lot. It's good to know that they're there for me. I've developed good relationships with them. But most of the coaches recruiting me I've really come to respect. Like coach Howland from UCLA. Most of them are really nice guys and they make it pretty clear they want to win. I can tell you that they mean what they say, that they're pure, all about basketball and want to make me better and win."
McCauley also cited academics, the relationship with the other players on the team, the system and having a good point guard as factors.
Being a skilled four man, McCauley wants to play in a system where he showcase his skills and have a point guard who can get him the ball. He said: "It's pretty important. I don't want to be a big guy put on the post who's not allowed to go out and shoot. I want to be able to move and pass and not just be set on the blocks. And having a good point guard really makes a difference. Playing with my high school team, we really don't have a point guard and it's frustrating not getting the ball. Then in AAU ball we did have good point guards and it makes such a difference."
McCauley said he'd like to get early playing time, but it might not be a big influence in his decision. "It's tough to tell about playing time. I would definitely like to play early, but you never know what's going to happen. It's just a whole different kind of basketball coming out of high school and playing in college. If I don't play right away, I'll just work harder and play as soon as I can."
Is distance a factor? "Not really," McCauley said. "If the place is the place for me, the location won't matter. Like if UCLA is the place, if it's a fit, then distance isn't going to matter."
McCauley said he probably won't take any official visits until his school starts, which is at the very end of August. "But I'll probably know where I want to visit within a few weeks, after I talk to my parents and coaches," he said.