Grayson Allen: It feels really great, even though it was over 2 weeks ago, still feels great. Right from the get go with our season the goal was to win a state championship. If we didn't win we would have felt like we under-acheived.
Was there moment where you felt like your team could actually win a state championship?
We had a stretch of three or so games during our last group of regular season games where I actually couldn't play because I was hurt, and we were playing three really good teams. We won the first game by like two, then the 2nd game and then we played a nationally ranked team and everybody stepped up and we all had more confidence in each other after those games and we knew we could win.
Does going into this AAU season feel different now that you are a state champion and you are rising up the player rankings?
I think, last year I would say it was about trying to get mine you could say...I didn't have the offers I do now, so I had to play in a way for that. This year it's a huge relief and I can go out and play and not worry about the extra stuff with colleges. I'm not playing for offers, they are there.
Speaking of offers--can you update us on a rough estimate of how many offers are you up to?
There's one guy who keeps track of that online and I think he has it that I'm up to around 38 offers or so.
Can you share just how you handle the reality of having almost 40 scholarship offers from D-1 schools?
It's just really crazy because so many of them happened at once for me. For other guys who maybe played with bigger AAU teams, they were used to it more, but for me it was overwhelming but it's all in fun.
How are things changing for you in how you evaluate schools in light that you have close to 40 offers?
I've been open from last summer and I'm still open now, even new schools have been contacting me recently. Before the April period I'm thinking about narrowing things down and thinking about trying to cut things down and maybe look at visits. I'm trying to think more about things with my recruitment.
What are you looking at in deciding on keeping or cutting a school off your list?
I'm really paying attention heavily to playing style and how the guards are used. It's something I need to watch to see if I'm a fit in that style and on that team. I'm also looking at the interactions between players and coaches and I'm looking at the players because I have to be comfortable with them since you'll be with them for four years.
When you look at how a coach coaches his players and interacts with them, can you shed some light on what you get out of watching them in that way?
I don't mind a screaming and hollering coach. I can take that, and it's not like I'm worried about who is a screamer or a call guy. It's kinda like looking at do the players and coaches respect each other and seeing that interaction with them.
Sounds like you watched a lot of games--what's the estimate for how many games you watched this season?
It's easily around 100 games.
Did any coaches really stand out in how they coached and interacted with their players?
As far as things standing out, the calmer coaches, the ones that get their point across with out a lot of screaming. Like Coach Few at Gonzaga, he's one of the calmer guys, he won't have to yell at guys, they just understood. Florida State, Coach Hamilton is like that too.
What's your thoughts on Gonzaga?
They've been down about three times during my high school season. They offered like two months ago, as well. In watching them play, they recruit differently, since they are considered the #1 team, and it's a big honor to be recruited by them and it's definitely somebody I'm interested in.
What teams are you planning on watching in the NCAA Tournament?
Yeah that's something I was looking at, I had a bracket today and it's tough to pick. I'm was trying to pick with my head and not my heart.
Are there any teams that you know you will watch regardless of their matchup?
Yeah, there's certain teams who I really love watching them play, like NC State, their uptempo style I find fun to watch. I also really like watching Indiana play, they are uptempo too in their style. I also like watching Duke and Florida too, Florida uses their guards a lot in their offense, Duke's spaces the court so well on offense.
What's your thoughts on how Duke uses their guards?
Duke usually plays a smaller lineup at the guard spot, they'll have 3 smaller guards out there, the way they space the floor and use ball screens and let Sulaimon attack in space after swinging it around, they are really good at that.
What sparked the move for you to playing for a new AAU team--the Southern Stampede?
Yeah, that was the team I really wanted to play for this summer and I'll be running a lot of point guard for them, it's just the way things worked out. I wanted to play in the Nike EYBL and there were three possible teams I could play with. I talked with the guys they already had at the three teams and I also talked with Jalen Lindsey, and after talking with him, it just felt right to play with the Stampede. Ahmed Hill will be playing with us too.
How do you think you'll play off of Jalen and Ahmed with the type of game you have?
I think after talking with Coach Stokes, he told me that me and Ahmed were similar players in some ways, he kinda has a more scoring mentality than I do, it was kinda weird in practice how similar we were in some ways.
What kind of role do you want to play in college?
I think playing the point is going to help me transition into college because if I can play at the 1 and 2 in college, it'll help me on the next level. Position wise I will be able to play either spot.There's some schools recruiting me as a combo guard, some think I can be a true point guard or a true scoring guard.
Cutting your list down--is it a pre-condition that you have to had visited that school for them to stay on your list?
Oh no, that doesn't matter.
Are there schools that you know for sure will stay on the list?
I have no idea right now, trying to cut it down to less than 10, but I really don't know.
Are any of the three triangle schools with NC State, UNC and Duke recruiting you harder than the others?
I would say that NC State and Duke are recruiting me the hardest. UNC isn't as hard as those two. I wouldn't say that NC State and Duke are recruiting me the hardest out of all the schools recruiting me during the season because different teams have different schedules.
Who are you speaking with from NC State and Duke?
I've been in contact with all the coaches from NC State including Coach Gottfried. Duke i've been in contact with Coach Wojo and Coach James and I've been in contact with Coach K several times.
Was the Coach K contact recent?
We talked recently on the phone in the last few weeks. He's pretty much said he wants to see me play in April this year. Coach James saw me at the end of the summer last year and Coach Wojo came through during my high school season twice, the next step for Coach K is to see me play.
Did Coach K discuss an offer with you or the potential for one?
He didn't really mention it, he just kinda said they had a big interest in me and wanted to see me play.
How'd you feel about that?
It's a huge honor coming from them, they are always ranked in the Top 10, it's a prestigious honor to be recruited by them. I definitely have an interest in Duke.
Any visits lined up anywhere?
Not yet, probably sometime in May I might try to visit a school.
Which schools are in contention for that one May visit?
I'm not 100% for sure, but one school would definitely be Gonzaga. Since they are so far away, that's some place I definitely want to take a look at so I can see what the campus is like, the facilities because I definitely like how they do things from a basketball perspective up there, seeing the campus I think will be good.
Do you feel like there are any other schools you need to visit before the end of the summer?
Not that I can think of right now.
How big a consideration is the depth chart play into your evaluation?
I think the biggest thing would be guys in the same class as me at the same position, guys who are there already before me, might be good so I can learn from them. I'm definitely looking at the class, 2014 to see where guys are going, talking with them about where they are going.
Guys from my AAU team, just seeing where guys are going. I want to go somewhere where I can bring guys with me potentially.
If a school tries to bring you in as a combo guard with another guard who is more a pure scorer type, how would you feel about that?
Probably I'd have to think about it, at the end of the day I'd probably be fine with it. There wouldn't be anything but competition with that, it'd be another guy if he's a scorer, it's going to motivate you everyday to get better.