When Macari Brooks pulled the trigger and committed to DePaul coach Oliver Purnell today, the most important part of his decision was the style of play that Purnell has brought over with him from Clemson.
"I loved it today," said Brooks. "I like their style of play. They get up and down. That's the style that I play from the AAU season and high school season."
"Once we sat down and talked with Coach Purnell, the way he described his offense and his defense, the type of system that he's trying to employ down there at DePaul, it fits well with Macari and what he does," said Woghiren.
Another factor was what Purnell's staff does in terms of making basketball players better.
"They also spoke highly about their player development and what they're going to do to make him a complete ballplayer," said Walt. "We felt that was good."
Woghiren joined Brooks on today's unofficial visit along with a former AAU coach from the Illinois Ice program where Macari first started playing several years ago.
The opportunity to stay close to home and play in a top-notch conference like the Big East was a key part of the decision as well.
"It's in Chicago and a big-time school," said Woghiren. "The possible recruits that might be coming as well, that was instrumental also."
One of those recruits is Crete-Monee's Jamie Crockett who committed to Purnell back in May for the class of 2011. Crockett and Brooks grew up together in Chicago's south suburbs and were teammates together on the Mac Irvin Fire AAU team.
"Jamie Crockett, that's my best friend," said Macari. "We grew up together. We always told each other that we're going to play ball together and now we're at the point where we can play ball together and stay close to home."
Brooks had also formed a close bond with DePaul despite changes in the coaching staff over the last two years.
"I've got a good relationship with the coaches – Coach (Billy) Garrett and Coach Purnell," said Brooks. "They've been recruiting for me for awhile even though they got a new coaching staff."
Today's visit to DePaul was an unofficial visit. Macari told WeAreDePaul.com that he plans to schedule his official visit to Lincoln Park at a later date.
So what kind of ballplayer can DePaul fans expect to see on the court in 2011?
A smooth, super-athletic 6-3 guard that fits Purnell's system perfectly.
Brooks was named MVP of the first week of the South Suburban Fall League on Sunday following a 24 point, nine rebound performance at St. Rita High School.
"Brooks is by far one of the finest high school athletes in the country," said South Suburban Showcase League commissioner Kevin Devitt. "His athleticm is off the charts. Brooks has the ability to get to the basket at will and isn't afraid to get dirty on the defensive end of the floor."
"As a player, I think he has tremendous upside because he's still real raw as far as basketball playing," said Woghiren. "He does a lot of stuff based off his talent and instinct. Once he has a better IQ of the game and basically improves his ballhandling, basically the sky is the limit for him. I think he has become a better defender over the year. When he gets to strictly basketball and books, I think that's going to make him so much better and more than he even realizes."
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