One on one with Austin Grandstaff

One of the top combo guards in the class of 2015 has heard from Duke quite a bit early on in his recruitment. So where does Austin Grandstaff factor in with the Blue Devils and what's he looking for? TDD spoke to the sophomore standout to get an idea on that and his hectic year.

Looks like you've been quite the traveling man this year, how's things going with the recent move?

Austin Grandstaff: It's good, I went to Huntington Prep and I got really homesick so I moved back to stay closer to my family and I'm staying with my dad, he's in Plano right now.

Was moving to Plano strictly a personal decision or was it basketball related as well?

It didn't have anything to do really with basketball. I just moved to be closer to my dad, people are trying to make it to be a basketball issue when it's really not. That's what bothers me about this situation, that people don't realize that it was just a family issue.

What have you learned about yourself through this difficult process?

It really lets me know I can get through anything, at whatever level I'm at. There's going to be positives and negatives, it's a good thing I can deal with it at a younger age, I think that's a positive, people are going to hate no matter what.

How did the time you spent at Huntington Prep help you?

Oh, it helped me a lot, and it was great. It's like playing with a bunch of D1 players everyday and you are going at each other and you also going up against, by far, what I consider to be one of the best, if not the best player in the country in Andrew Wiggins.

That helped me as a person to be on my own, away from home, and it helped me from a basketball perspective as well. Overall, I think it helped me a lot more as a person.

How did it happen for you to go to Huntington?

I knew Coach Fulford a little bit from this past summer, and we had talked a little bit. Plus my teammate, Elijah Thomas, transferred to another school, (to Prime Prep) and we weren't winning a lot. I felt like I needed a change, so I went out to Huntington Prep and I didn't have any regrets.

What were the practices like at Huntington?

They matched me up a lot against Andrew Wiggins because we kinda played the same position a little bit and I really took it on myself to go match up against him mostly because I wanted to get better as a player. He's just a great player, and I've never played against anybody who is that great, it just helped me a lot to get better and see where I needed to improve.

How did you see yourself improving by matching up against him?

I think there were just different times where I was able to make plays and I looked at it as a positive when I did that because I was playing against what I consider to be the probable number one pick in a few years. It gave me confidence that I know I can play at that level.

How much adversity did you face as you made the decision to transfer out of Huntington?

It was a lot of adversity. Part of me wanted to leave and part of me didn't. I really just wanted to be closer to my family, because I'm kind of a homebody. I was the youngest guy on the team by far, it was kinda hard and I think I'll grow from it.

The discussion comes when a player transfers to be close to home that that they could play a major role in his college decision…

I've been asked that quite a few times, and I think right now, I'm still pretty young but when I get up to be a senior in high school, at 17 or 18 years old, I think I'll be ready to get out. Maybe, when the time comes I'll know better, right now it doesn't matter to me right now whether I play far away or close to home. It's not an issue right now, when the time comes, distance might be a factor or it might not, just depends on where I'm at then.

Every player has their own idea when it comes to when they want to end their recruitment--where are you with that?

I've thought about it some, but when the time comes, I'll have to sit down with my family. If I like a school a lot, I could commit there, it could be early, it could be late. I'm really not sure, it'll definitely be a little bit.

When talking to those who are advising you, what factors do they say are important?

My dad definitely tells me to keep my options open. I don't just settle on one school, because more schools will come when I get older if I keep working hard. He tells me everything will come.

Has anything changed in regards to your list top schools from several months ago?

Not really, those are the same top six. Oklahoma State is starting to get really interested, and I'm supposed to go there on the second when they play Texas. I talked to Coach Ford twice this week. They like me a lot, it's good to see the success that Marcus Smart is having there.

How much did you know about them prior to their contact?

I know them primarily through Marcus, since we played together when I was younger, but I also know their campus. I went there when I was younger, it's a really nice campus. I like them a lot.

Sounds like you're close with Marcus.

. Yeah, and that's always been the way it's been with him. He's under the radar nationally because his stats may not scream at you, but he just finds ways to win and I think that's why NBA Scouts like him, every time you see him drive, he looks like an NBA player.

Who are you making an effort to watch on TV teams wise?

Well Kansas and Duke. I love watching Duke play. I like watching Notre Dame and Indiana too. I've talked to Indiana some, but now much, but i've never talked to Notre Dame, I just enjoy watching them play.

What makes you say you "love" watching Duke play?

Oh, I mean, just their system. The way Coach K runs it, and I like watching Rasheed Sulaimon play. I really look up to him in a lot of ways, he's a great player.

You mentioned the Duke system. What about the way they play has caught your eye?

You can tell that Coach K really sets what they do around the guys they have on the court. He doesn't have a set system that he runs, but he molds it around the players that he has on the team, that's why he's had so much success.

In your conversations, have you discussed the system or style of play with them?

They just tell me that they think I can really fit in there, but the last time I talked with Coach Wojo, the last thing he brought up with me was grades, that's a really important thing at Duke. They haven't talked much about the system yet, they just wanted to make sure that I have the grades to be able to go there. He asked to see a copy of my grades, so we sent them to him.

Is Coach Wojo the only coach you've been talking to from Duke?

Yeah, it's basically just him, but I did talk with Coach Capel a few times. I talked with him when I was at Huntington. Coach Capel and Coach Wojo say some of the same things, they tell me to keep working hard and to try and come down for a visit.

Are they actively trying to line up a visit?

It's more they tell me to come there for a visit when I'm able to, it's aways away from home. I'm probably not going to be able to visit anytime soon, probably have to wait until after this summer and I see how I do.

Have they talked about scholarship offers?

I don't really know yet, think a lot of it depends on how this summer goes for me, but by the end of the summer, I do expect to have an offer from them.

That's pretty confident--what makes you that confident you'll receive the offer?

Just off the way I play, I'm getting more confident in my abilities.

Do you have any other visits upcoming?

Yeah, Oklahoma State and Kansas. Kansas really loves me, and I've been talking with Coach Dooley a good amount. I'm also supposed to visit Oklahoma soon and I was actually supposed to visit Syracuse this weekend, but I can't make that visit.

Can you update on who is showing you the most serious interest and who your firm offers are?

The most serious interest, I would say recently is Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Kansas. Firm offers are OU, UMass, Texas A&M, and I've got other ones that I can't remember. Right now I'm open to anyone.

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