One on one with '15 SG Austin Grandstaff

He's considered one of the top perimeter threats in the class of 2015 already. Accordingly, Rockwall (Tex.) standout Austin Grandstaff is hearing from a number of high majors as he begins his recruiting process. Duke is among the schools that have checked in, and the 6-foot-3 rising sophomore says they aren't the only ones. Recently Grandstaff sat down with TDD for an extended interview.

Are you originally from Texas?

I'm originally born in Arlington, but I moved to Rockwall when I was five, so yes I've always been a Texan.

You come from a basketball family, correct?

Yeah, my dad is actually the founder of Team Texas, which is the team I play for right now. He also does an energy consulting business too. He started Team Texas 20 years ago.

How old were you when you got your start in basketball?

Oh, I was born with a basketball in my crib, but I started playing for real when I was four years old. I was playing up with 7 year olds.

Any favorite NBA or college teams growing up?

I've always liked the Mavericks since I'm from the Dallas area, and I had a favorite college team growing up with Texas, but now that the recruiting is heating up, I feel like I can't really have a favorite.

Why not?

I just want to stay open and not show any favoritism to any of the schools right now. I don't have a favorite in recruiting, and that makes me not have a favorite to follow.

Aside from the Longhorns, did you try to watch other programs growing up as well?

I liked to watch Duke play a lot. They are fun to watch and are a well coached team. That's who I want to play for….a well coached team. They are a team I watched when I was younger and now too.

What's the dynamic like with you and your dad since he's your dad and coach?

It's just really a blessing on both ends because he's taught me a lot about on the court and off the court stuff.

Was he a player too?

Yeah, he played in high school on varsity, but he didn't have the grades to go D-1, so he played junior college, then he started doing what he's doing now.

How does he help you with the increase in recruiting attention?

He helps me a lot. He helps me know how to handle things, especially since he's got a big name as well.

Personally, how are you handling the increased attention?

I just look at it as a blessing you know, not everyone has the opportunity to have this kind of interest. I know I've worked really hard and it seems like it's paying off.

It seems from the summer that you and Elijah Thomas are pretty close, correct?

Definitely. He's like my little but big brother because I'm a little older than him, but he's for sure a lot bigger than me. We're good friends off the court and we just push each other to get better as players. We play well together on the court.

There's been an increasing number of high major prospects from Texas over the last decade; guys who have played at the highest level in college and NBA basketball. What's it like being considered a part of the next wave of Lone Star talent?

It's a lot of pressure because of how good those guys were and are. Also, it's kind of cool to have our state producing so many great players.

Do you have friendships with any other Texas players?

Yeah, I'm friends with Matt Jones, we played together when we were young.

Is he recruiting you to Duke?

Yeah, he talks to me about them all the time, he's trying to get me to come there for sure.

Elijah mentioned some of the schools you guys have visited unofficially, what went into deciding to visit those schools so early?

They were just close to home and we were going to a camp, so we figured we'd stop by and check them out.

You mentioned Duke previously, and their system. When did you first start noticing them?

Right around when J.J. Redick was a freshman. They were and are a really good team. In watching them over the years, I'd say I've got a high interest in them.

What's their interest level been like with you?

I've gotten three letters from them and a whole bunch of phone calls from Coach Wojo. He's really nice, my dad and high school coach have talked to him a lot, he just seems like a really nice guy.

Being that it's so early, what has he talked about with you?

He's talked with me about how much they like my game and how much we all wanted to try and do a visit there. We were looking at going in August, but it's going to be moved because of how busy we were with the July period. I've been traveling a lot, need to stay home, workout for high school season.

Did Coach Wojo talk about the Team USA experience with you?

He did, and it's been really great. It's neat seeing him coach all those NBA stars and get them to play as a team.

If you do re-schedule, who are you taking on your visit?

Elijah for sure. We've gone on all the other visits together, so that's what we're hoping to do with Duke too.

Do you think taking visits together will lead to playing together at the next level?

I'd love to see it happen, for sure. I'm hoping that things fall in line to allow that to happen.

Have you thought about what's going to be important as you begin this process?

A lot of is going to be based on the idea that I want to go in and play right away. I want a chance to earn playing time, so I'll be looking at their style of play as well. I'll also want to know what my parents think…that'll be a big deal. They are advising me that I should go where I can be happy and also have a realistic chance to play right away. We've seen other guys go to schools and not play right away and it not turn out well for their development.

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