One on one with Diamond Stone

He's help Team USA to the Gold Medal game at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship, but before he and the rest of the team departed for Uruguay, five star 2015 big man Diamond Stone sat down with TDD to discuss recruiting, the experience, and much more.

What's it like knowing you've made another USA Basketball squad?

Diamond Stone: It's been a real good experience, it's a great honor to play for them, especially since you have to try out to make it.

Who are your good friends on this team?

Ivan Rabb and Malik Newman are my best friends. I've been making new friendships with the other guys as well.

It's been reported you've been working out and losing a lot of weight, can you update on what your current height/weight and wingspan is now?

Yeah I'm at 248 pounds now. I lost some weight by working with a trainer on the treadmill, lifting weights, stuff like that.

What sparked your interest in wanting to have that weight loss?

My coach told me he wanted me to get around 250 and I took that in consideration so I could be ready to compete when I got out here to camp. My wingspan now is 7-foot-3 and a half and I'm 6-foot-10 in height.

How's the recruiting process been going for you?

It's been going good, most of the schools have already offered me, but I don't really know which schools. My coach knows though. Kentucky, North Carolina and Duke haven't offered, but all are high interest.

With those three schools, who are you talking to and how frequent in your contact with the staff?

Duke's been to a lot of my games, and Kentucky's at a lot of game, my coach talks to the coaches, they all visit me a lot though. Duke watched me the most during my high school and AAU season.

Have you had any interaction with the Duke staff?

No sir, right now it's my dad and my coach handling all of that.

Have you started to form opinions of the different schools who you've been told are contacting you?

No, not really. I think all the schools do well, and I just like the schools that win and who get their big men the ball, that's the most important thing.

Have you thought about any summer visits?

I may when we get back, but I don't know which schools yet.

Since it's early, are you thinking the recruiting process will take a while or are you thinking about getting it over earlier?

Right now I think it'll be a later decision. I'm just trying to make the right school choice. There's some coaches who are trying to make a Fab-5, and they want to make me the leader, to have me commit first and then bring some other guys.

Like who?

I know that UCLA has told my dad they would like to try and make a Fab 5 with guys like Ivan Rabb, Malik Newman, Charles Matthews and one other.

What do you think about that approach?

It's OK. My goal is that I want to win a national championship and play with the best players, so we'll see.

Do you feel it's important you take a lot of visits to schools before you make a decision?

No, it's not that important.

What are the major factors for you in your decision?

The coach, I want to see how he coaches; the players; and how the campus is. I also want to see how the coach treats me and his players, the offense, style of play, is he a straight up coach, laid back, stuff like that.

Do you have a preference between playing for a more laid back coach or a more demanding coach?

I like a coach that's both, a coach that is straight with you and laid back and demanding.

Have you had any coaches come visit you personally?

Yes, at school I've had visits from Duke, Louisville, Michigan, Wisconsin, Marquette, Notre Dame, Indiana, schools like that.

Was it Coach K from Duke?

No, it was an assistant coach, Coach Wojo. He told me to keep working and that he would be watching me.

Sounds like Duke is recruiting you fairly hard so far, do you have any early thoughts on them?

It's a good school, and a good program with good academics. They run a good offense, for me. My AAU team the Legends, we run the same offense as Duke, so that's good.

Did you watch Duke much during this past season?

I did a little bit. Mason Plumlee was an athletic big, and he got up and down, got the ball, and scored a lot.

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