Chris Egi talks recruitment and plans

Though the top targets for Duke have long been established in the class of 2014, there's always the chance a prospect could reclassify up a year and jump on to the recruiting radar. That very situation appears to be on the table for this Canadian power forward.

Can you provide us with a quick bio?

Chris Egi: Well I'm from Ontario which is Canada, I'm near Toronto. I started playing basketball like 4 or 5 years ago at St. Andrews and I also play for the Canadian National Team and I play for CIA Bounce as well. Most of my family actually lives back in Nigeria, so I live with my close family, me, my mom, my dad, my brother and my sister. My older brother played basketball and my younger sister is starting to.

What sparked your interest to play basketball?

I tried out for my school team after my coach asked me to come try out. I was always one of the taller guys. I used to play kinda like in the basement type deal, like on a small net, not even like a real basketball or net or anything, that's how I got started

Did you grow up liking NBA or college basketball more?

Yeah I grew up watching the NBA. My favorite team is the Toronto Raptors and my favorite player is Chris Paul. I love how he gets everybody involved and is a real lead. Everybody tells me it's funny that I like him since I'm a big player.

Playing in college—is there a particular position or style of play you are looking for?

I want to work towards being a versatile 4, to be able to use my athleticism to do different things on the court and help my team, kinda do a lot of different things. I want to keep getting better at shooting, passing, rebounding, making plays down low.

What was it like for you watching your friend Andrew Wiggins's recruitment play out? Did you learn anything from it that you are carrying into your recruiting process?

It was interesting, I didn't know everything going on since it was a private decision. It was really interesting see all the media scrutiny and what went into that, for such a young kid, he had so much attention, I learned a lot from him. I think he handled the whole thing well and I think I have to keep my head steady and to make an informed decision and I can't allow any outside influences have an influence on what will be my decision.

Who are you going to lean on for guidance?

Primarily my parents and my national coach and my trainer.

What's your recruiting process looking like these days?

Well, most of the coaches I've talked to include all the schools recruiting me, it's been a lot, very busy but it's enjoyable because all of the hard work, you kinda get to see the results of that when you are talking with the coaches.

Which schools are showing strong interest?

The coaches from Stanford, Coach Dawkins has spoken with me a lot, Coach Amaker from Harvard as talked with me a lot as well. Coach Bennett from Virginia, Coach Groce from Illinois, the coaches from California, coaches from Washington, from UCONN the coaching staff has spoken with me a lot and the coaches from Florida as well. It's a long list. Villanova has spoken recently with my parents but not me yet.

You must have a strong academic profile with the quality of academic institutions recruiting you that you just listed.

Yeah, in Canada I have a 95% average which I believe in the United States is a 4.0. I took the SAT last year and I did pretty well on it, I think I did well enough for school acceptance, but I think I could do a little better in the writing section, but other than that I did well.

Is the academic reputation of the schools recruiting you a major part of your evaluation of schools recruiting you?

Yes sir, that's probably one of the biggest factors in my recruitment for sure.

What are the other factors that are a big part of your consideration?

A school where I think I would be a good fit for them and they for me, playing style, a coach that I feel comfortable with an environment that I feel comfortable with.

Let me follow up on those if I may, can you elaborate a bit more on what a "comfort level" with a coach means to you?

Yeah, it means having a coach that understands where he's at with his program and where I am trying to go, just one who can help me with that.

What's the hoped for style of play for you?

As a player I want to play in a position where I can be versatile, to be able to show my abilities as a player and to be able to play in space and go off the dribble. For playing style I'm looking for more of an up tempo style and a lot of pick and pop type stuff. I like when bigs are involved in the whole offense, screening, that's what we kinda did on the national team, so I'm real used to that.

Are there any schools that you really like already?

Nothing that stands out at the moment, I pretty much like every school recruiting me. I haven't taken any visits yet.

Are there any school visits in the plans right now?

I'm looking to take visits in the next couple of months, but I'm not sure where yet.

Are there any schools that you haven't heard from in your recruitment yet that you are hoping to hear from?

Well, previously I was really hoping to hear from Duke, but I recently heard from them so now that I'm really looking for right now.

Before Duke expressed interest recently, what made you want to hear from them?

Well, I respect what they do with their program, they have really great coaching with Coach K, I think it's the kind of place that I would like to kinda play in and they have a really good history of player development.

What do you "respect" about the Duke program?

They have a great tradition of winning and having highly excellent players, I really respect that they take pride in winning.

Did you watch Duke at all when you were younger?

Yeah, I liked the way they played. I kinda liked JJ Redick and I also watched Jay Williams too, I really liked him too. The way they played in college, I really liked how they approached each game with the mindset to be the best player on the court.

Who reached out to you from the Duke staff?

It was Coach Jeff Capel I think. He spoke with my mom on the phone and then he texted me and he told me he was going to be watching me during the high school season and he was going to come down to my school in Florida to watch me practice, stuff like that.

What did he discuss with your mom?

They talked about where I'm at with my recruiting process and whether they could be involved in it and to get a feel about how I feel about the school. My mom was really happy, she knows how I feel about the school, she was really happy.

Are you going to take your time with your recruiting process?

I think I want to make a decision by November, so hopefully I'll be able to get everything done by then. I'm thinking I'm going to be reclassifying to the 2014 class. I'm almost done with all my credits and I think that I have a good opportunity to be able to contribute next year as a player and to be able to go to a good school, a school that I would like to play for.

Do you have specific schools that you really prefer?

No, all the schools recruiting me are the type of schools I would really like to play for, I'm not waiting on anything anymore.

Is deciding by November this year, is that a firm deadline that you have set to conclude your recruitment?

I want to know what school I'm going to before the season starts.

Do you feel it's really important to get all five official visits in before November comes?

Yes, I would like to take all my visits before the season starts.

Are there any schools that are more likely to receive a visit from you?

Probably I'm leaning towards schools recruiting me that are really good academic schools and probably schools that have been recruiting me for longer. I can't really give a list, but I kinda have the type of schools that I know I want to visit.

So does that mean that colleges who have recently gotten involved in your recruitment are less likely to be considered seriously by you as a possible college choice?

No, it's just depending on different variables, a lot of the schools that have been recruiting me for a while are probably schools that are really good. Like Stanford is an example, they've been recruiting me for awhile but the reason why I like them isn't just because they've been recruiting me the longest, those are just the types of schools I've liked before.

Have you shared with the coaches recruiting you your intention to reclassify to 2014? If so, how did they respond to that news?

Yes, all the coaches recruiting me know that. Pretty much all the schools recruiting me have told me I have a spot w and whether I stay in 2015 or reclassify to 2014.

What did Coach Capel from Duke say about your desire to reclassify in your recent conversations?

Yes sir we talked about that as well, and he said their interest is there regardless of what class I'm in, and that includes 2014. They haven't mentioned a visit yet. I'll probably think very highly of thinking about visiting there. I'm going to have to talk with my parents and my coaches at Montverde about the dates for the visits. 


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