Chicago area big has heard from Duke

Several 2015 prospects received contact of some variety from the Duke coaching staff over the last few days. One of those is a Chicago area big man with an impressive skill set, and a recruiting stock that is beginning to take off. TDD spoke with Myles Carter to get the latest.

How has the recruiting process gone since the calls started on the 15th at midnight?

Myles Carter: The day has been crazy man. It's up to 23 missed calls that I have to tend to. I've heard from Loyola, my mom heard from Duke from Coach Nate James, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Northwestern, their new assistant called, Providence called, they had already offered me. Bradley called and offered and I heard from Valpo, they said they were probably going to offer me when I come visit, which I think might be next week. Also heard from Xavier, Cincinnati, Michigan State, pretty much, Oregon State also called, San Jose State, Murray State called too and I think that's it.

How are you handling everything?

I'm handling it good I think, and I'm not letting it overwhelm me. I'm about to be a junior, I'm not rushing into anything, I'm not planning on committing until the start of my senior year, so I'm just taking my time right now.  

Is there a plan in place to handle all the incoming attention?

Yeah, pretty much, you know my dad and my mom want me to get a piece of paper and write down who has offered, who is really showing strong interest and who is just showing a little bit of interest.

The bigger name schools you mentioned above, would you say any of them are showing a higher degree of interest in you?

Yeah, Michigan State, Illinois have both been showing strong interest. Coach Fife has been calling a lot and my dad, he knows Tom Izzo, he's friends with him, so I'm going to take a visit up there probably around August. Illinois has always been strong interest, Coach Groce came to my school a couple of months ago, assistant coach texted me recently and said Coach Groce was calling me tonight. With Duke, that was actually the first time I've heard from Duke, pretty much my mom told me they called and Florida called too.

Did you stay up for the midnight calls?

Yeah, I was up for awhile and then I went to bed and when I woke back up this morning, I had like 10 missed calls. The very first text or call was from Xavier, they said they were going to recruit me very hard and they were coming out of the gate hard to try and get me. Virginia Tech is another school recruiting me who said they are going to offer me when I come down and visit them.

Are there certain schools you know for sure you will try and visit this summer outside of the Michigan State and Virginia Tech visits you mentioned?

Yeah, Providence for sure, I'll probably go down to Illinois. My dad is talking about going down to Marquette, they are another school recruiting me and I've taken two visits to DePaul already. My dad was possibly thinking about visiting Bradley, so we'll see about that. Virginia Tech and San Jose State probably too. I'm free during the June period, so this is the best chance and in August to try and do visits. In the July period I'll be at Peach Jam and at the Reebok All American Camp, then LeBron, then Vegas, it'll be a busy July.

Who are you playing with at the Peach Jam?

I'll be playing with Mean Streets, Charles Matthews is a teammate. This is my first time with Mean Streets, before I was with Illinois Wolves, that was my first AAU team. Going forward I'm with Mean Streets only for the July period and all next year.

For fans who have never seen you play before Myles, how would you describe your game?

I would describe my game as a hard worker, and I do whatever my coach asks me to do at my position. Being 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, and being blessed with a long frame, I feel like I can dominate a lot of things. I feel like I worked on my jump shot a lot and when I came back from Nike Top 100 Camp, I was hitting down a lot of jumpers and working on my face up game and my post game too, getting stronger, quick spin moves. I've been watching a lot of Hakeem Olajuwon tapes, working on my post moves, that's been helping out wiht my high school coach. Defense is a big thing to me, I love blocking shots and getting the ball for my teammates because a block can lead to a dunk on the other end. I'm an athletic block player who is big on defense, I encourage my teammates to play hard defense.

For the record, can you update your measureables?

My height is 6-foot-9, and my weight is 220 pounds. My wingspan is 7-foot-3, and my standing reach is between 8-foot-11. All of that was measured recently.

Before the recruiting process ramped up for you, what were the schools you really liked?

I'll be honest, I really like Providence. They were the first to offer me, Coach Cooley and his assistant came to me and said we want you badly, you are our top priority. I really appreciate that and that's a school I'll be in contact with in the future since they've made me such a big priority.  Virginia Tech also, Illinois, definitely since it's a hometown school, Coach Groce is a good guy, Michigan State too, I really like Tom Izzo and Coach Fife, he's a good coach too. Those are the top schools right now.

How far back does your dad's relationship go with Tom Izzo?

It goes back far, I think about 3 years or so, he said he would see Coach Izzo at church whenever he worked down in Michigan, he was in the Air Force. He said they'd say "hi" to each other and would catch up with each other.

How much will that friendship weigh on your recruitment?

I'd say a lot I think. I haven't had a chance to meet Tom Izzo yet, obviously I've heard a lot about him but I haven't met him yet. My coach has been telling me that Coach Izzo is a really tough coach who will push you and who pretty much will try to do the best things for you. Coach Fife said they are really interested in me and they are going to keep watching me and they like the way I play.

Have you had a chance to have a conversation yet with the Duke or Florida staffs yet?

I personally haven't, they had actually called first to talk with my parents, they talked with my mom and dad, they asked about my grades, what kind of person I am, about my game and they said I'll be hearing from them during July and during my season.

What are your thoughts on that initial approach?

That's fine with me, I'm not in a rush for anything. Both of those schools are winning programs and I really like that because my mindset is I want to win and I want to go to the best school that gives me the best opportunity to win. I'm still going to go to a school that I feel comfortable, but winning is a big thing to me.

Are you planning on reaching out to Duke and Florida since they reached out to your parents, or are you planning on taking your time there?

I think I'm going to take my time there, they both indicated they want to see me in July. Coach James said that Coach K is going to be down at Peach Jam and at the Reebok Camp I'm going to be at in July, so Nate James said to keep working and they would see me there. It'll be good to then to get a feel for them and go from there.

Will playing in front of those coaches affect the way you play?

I'm just going to keep playing my game, you know, a lot of players will try to do too much, I'm just going to play my game because that's all a coach will ask for, is just for me to play my game. Like, I can handle the ball, but a lot of times you see big guys who are like 6-foot-11 trying to dribble the ball up, be like Kevin Durant and that's just not who I am. I can handle the ball, but I handle the ball where I can make plays. I may take it and go for a face up area and go to the basket or do a post move or face up and make a play. I'm just going to show the coaches what I can do and how I play.

Once you get to the point of narrowing down the list, what are the biggest factors for you?

Coaching staff and environment. That's pretty much it. I have to have a good relationship with the head coach and his assistants, I have to be comfortable around them. I want a coach who will tell me when I'm messing up, when I'm not right, I don't want a pushover coach. With the environment, I'm talking the all around environment at a school, the academics, the campus, things like that, how the kids are, what their fan base is like. I want to major in Business Finance, so I'm looking at the quality of the degree program and the school.

How much do you pay attention to the teams from a scouting perspective?

Well, a lot of schools ask their bigs to rebound and I'm real good with that. Whatever I can help my team to help us win, I'm going to do it. If I can get 12 rebounds in a game, I won't be on the court complaining , I get the ball a lot on team but if I don't, my coach always asks me, what do you do on the court if you aren't getting the ball, what can you do to make a contribution ? I could be blocking shots or getting rebounds because I'll be honest, not every game is going to be your game where you score a lot, so I have games where I'll go 2-for-11 but I'll have 12 blocks and 15 rebounds, so those are the types of things that separate great players from good players and I want to be a great player.

In your opinion, are you a four year guy?

You know, I'm not sure, that's one of the things my dad talks about, is the importance of having a college education, so say if I did, if the NBA Draft Stock says I'm Top 20 but if I'm going to go back to college to get my degree. Hopefully the NBA option will always be there, and if they want you your freshman year, they'll want you your senior year as well. We'll see where things are, say you are going to be the 1st pick of the draft after freshman year, that's hard to pass up, top 20 pick, it's hard to pass up, but I just plan on playing things out and I plan on showing my college full commitment. I'm going to take my time with my recruiting process so I can see which offers I get, which schools really want me, see who I'm really interested in and most of the visits I'll take will be in the upcoming fall, August or next spring, that's pretty much how it'll go for sure.

Will distance play a factor in your recruitment?

No, I don't think so at all, you know my parents just told me to go where you like best and wherever it is, they can get there and see me play. To have family that's comfortable with things, it's not a problem at all.

What were your parents reaction to Nate James from Duke when he talked with her today?

She said she really liked him, and she liked how honest he was about Duke is a hard working school. It's a place you go to if you want to win, it's a school you go to if you want to achieve good things, if you are trying to really make it, they will push you and make you work hard on and off the court to achieve those goals.

Did he indicate that he's hoping to have you guys come down for a visit?

He said sometime around August, he said I'd have a chance to talk with him about that. I think it's most likely we'll take a visit there sometime.

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