Behind the scenes with Chase Jeter

The Blue Devils are one of the final six schools for five star power forward Chase Jeter, and a decision is expected in the coming several weeks. We sat down with his father, Chris, to discuss the recent events and where things stand on his side of the recruitment as a decision begins to appear on the horizon.

How are things going for you as a parent with Chase's process coming to a close here in the foreseeable future?

Chris Jeter, father of Chase Jeter: It's great, I think Chase is looking forward to putting the decision out there when it's time and getting a little closure. It's good that juniors can start committing and taking their official visits during their junior years, it kinda put things in perspective a little bit.

Chase mentioned you guys hosted coaches recently both at his school for meetings and in your home, what was your thoughts on both of those groups of visits?

The main thing really was seeing where they see Chase playing at the college level. Pretty much all the coaches are on the same page in that they see that you can't just put Chase in one position, there's some who are saying that he could play the 3, 4 and even the 5, I like that because of his versatility and because he's still growing. There's people who are still listing Chase in between 6-foot 8-to 6-foot-10 or so but he's still growing.

As you advise Chase through his evaluation of schools, are you bringing up different things to him to give him food for thought in his decision?

Oh yes for sure. I definitely think you have to look at the top bigs in the country and see what schools they are interested in and what schools they are going to attend as we look at what decision Chase is going to make. I know that Duke and UCLA and U-of-A are all recruiting Diamond Stone, and U of A is recruiting Ivan Rabb, so those are schools you have to look at as he makes his decision. Then you have Stephen Zimmerman with whatever schools are recruiting him, so you have to be very careful because you don't want to have too many big men at the same school as Chase. 

Are you discussing with the college coaches their recruitments of those bigs you mentioned or is it more just observing what's going on with their recruitments?

That's a main question, that's truly the main question, those big guys along with Chase are the top big men in the country, so it is very important for us to know where everybody is moving and where everybody is potentially going. You definitely don't want to have 3 guys at the same school. 

Have you gotten the feedback or answers from the college coaches that you have sought info on their recruitments of those bigs?

Of course, Ivan Rabb is a great kid, can go anywhere in the United States and we love him, we love his parents and the feel the same way. Stephen is probably going to be going to a different school from what Chase is looking at right now and we pretty much have to wait it out and see where everybody is going. There's a big kid from Iowa too, last name Henry I believe, we're watching where he's going as well. 

It really sounds like Chase and you guys are thinking Chase needs to go to a completely different school than the bigs you've mentioned—is that a correct analysis in your estimation?

Not necessarily, you are going to have, you can't have obviously just Chase at a school, we would love to see two bigs at the same school would be great, but we have to look at the big picture of who is coming in during 2015, who is already there, who is potentially coming in during 2016, you have to look at the picture. One thing about Duke is we know where they stand with Chase, it's really a good thing, we know who they are recruiting and who they are not recruiting. 

What does it mean when you say, "we know where we stand with Duke and Chase ?"

Just as far as who they are recruiting, where they see Chase fitting in at there, those are some of the questions that you have to ask. We are seeking some of those answers as far as who may come into Duke or who may not. Who is transferring in, those are all questions we have asked. 

How would you characterize your feelings towards what's been presented in response to your questions?

There's no concerns, all the questions we have asked have pretty much been answered, some schools we were looking at earlier in the process, they did a great job recruiting Chase but for one reason or another, they didn't fit our criteria for Chase.

Going back to the bigs you mentioned earlier in Chase's class, are those the only bigs you are paying really close attention to what's happening in their recruitments, or are there other bigs as well that you are monitoring?

Well you have to look at the bigs that are already there, that's important, are they going to be a one and done or two and done player or do they have another guy coming in at the same size and are they going to be one and done guy, two and done or are they going to be a four year player? You have to have a strategy when you look at the recruiting process and what is the best school for your child to go to and ultimately, this decision is going to come down to Chase, what school do you most feel comfortable going to.

Out of Chase's Top 6 schools, do you have a greater comfort level with any of them in terms of Chase's projected fit and role at the school?

I think Chase will have an impact at any of the 6 that we are looking at. He'll have the opportunity to come in and potentially start which is truly awesome with the schools on his list.

Since you sound like you guys really like and are comfortable with all 6 schools on his list and if you get the answers you are looking for with their big men recruiting, how are you actually going to pare things down and make a decision on where Chase is going to school?

Well I think you have to look at the classes coming in, not just with the bigs but also with the guards that are coming in. You definitely want a guard that's going to be a big-friendly and who will pass the ball a lot and you want someone that Chase has built a relationship with. Chase has built several relationships with point guards around the country. Luke Kennard and Chase are pretty good friends, Tyler Dorsey and Chase are good friends, as a matter of fact, Tyler plays with Chase on his AAU team, so it's going to be very interesting to see how it plays out. Like I said, we had great visits before, Duke was his only official visit, that was great, we really enjoyed going to UCLA and U of A for his unofficial visits as well and Chase's mom was with him when he traveled to Oregon for a visit.

There's some conjecture out there that Duke may have lost some momentum in Chase's recruitment since he didn't commit soon after his official visit…

Crystal Ball I believe says that for Duke it's 96% with Chase, so there's always pretty unique to get the perspective of fans and media, but as a parent, my perspective is that Chase has a pretty big backing here in Las Vegas amongst the police officers and firefighters and they really support Chase, so they actually wanted to know where Chase is going, so I actually put out Chase's Top 6, and it was a pretty interesting response with what they came back with. We'll have to see what happens but we are looking forward to Chase making that decision, hopefully here real soon. 

It definitely sounds like you are aware of the recruiting "chatter" so to speak with Chase—what do you think about all that talk about where he's potentially going?

We pretty much try to stay positive with the chatter. Of course you know, Twitter's not really my thing, i'm not a big Twitter person and I try to stay away from it, but a lot of people use that as a tool to beef up Chase or to tear him down which is kinda crazy to be honest to have grown people putting their two cents into it. We like to stay with the positive media outlets, so it's always interesting to see what's going on and see what people are putting out there. Those who truly believe in Chase and have been around since Day 1, those are the people that we truly appreciate and we appreciate the folks who were recruiting Chase before he became a 5* player, that's very important. UCLA, when Coach Grace was over at Oregon, he was recruiting Chase there years ago and then with USC, Coach Bland was recruiting him for awhile and then Coach from UCLA, he's been recruiting him for awhile and then Coach Wojo, prior to leaving Duke and taking the job at Marquette, he was pretty solid. Once Wojo left, Coach Capel stepped in there and of course he has a pretty good relationship with Coach K, Chase and him talk at least once or twice a week. We have a lot of talk about discipline and what not but as a parent, any coach that is recruiting a kid, especially when talking about taking a kid to the next level, we hope they have that discipline that we discuss with coaches like Coach K to push him further and harder than anybody has.

How did Coach Wojo leaving Duke and Coach Capel starting to talk with guys affect things in Chase's recruitment?

It's a fair read that it didn't really affect things much. One thing with everything is you have to look at the big picture, one thing I really enjoyed about Duke is that's it's a family atmosphere and what I mean by that is not only is it Coach K and his wife and his daughters are a part of that program, every assistant coach that works for Coach K played for Coach K which is very interesting to see happen. It's a real family atmosphere there at Duke and if Chase were to decide to attend Duke, I'm not worried about him getting homesick because they are together and around each other a lot at that program. Another thing too with myself and Chase's mom, we'll be there to support him at least once a month, even with the East Coast schools, especially that first year. Lot of these kids coming out, they don't have that family support that they really need, so we were going to make sure that regardless of what school Chase goes to, his mom and I would be there for him.

Since we're touching on recruiting conjecture, there's talk with some who think that the longer Chase's recruitment goes, the worse it is for Duke's position in his recruitment as other schools have more time to make their pitches, is that accurate?

I don't necessarily disagree with that but I think that when you make that decision on where you want to go to school, you already have that idea of what's going to be your top school. I'll leave it at that, we just really enjoyed having a relationship with all the coaches but I don't think it's bad for Duke at all. 

With the recent at school and in-home visits, was there any new info presented that has really grabbed Chase's or your attention?

Not really, it was good to see the one on one visits or the family visits with UCLA and U of A, when you are there on a visit, everything goes by so fast and then when you sit down with the coaches, it's pretty interesting. Every program on Chase's list is a winning program and it's winning coaches at the lead of those programs. You really can't be that, I guess what really separates Coach K is he's a legend, there's not too many legends coaching the game. I think we really appreciate that and if that's a school Chase goes to, he would have one of the best coaches in America coaching Chase. He's been there, wow, he's been there, his dedication, when you talk about things that were offered to a coach to go to the NBA, his passion was at the  college level and that truly speaks volumes, it really does. 

When thinking on the relationship with Coach K, and the things you've said about him, is his status as "a legend" a factor in your estimation?

I think it's important that you have a coach that has won all his life and has helped build his program from the bottom. The players he's put into the NBA or the players who have graduated from Duke University, it's really a tight knit family that we definitely appreciate an environment like that.

As the final discussions happen with you guys and Chase on his decision, is anybody else involved outside of you, Chase and his mom?

It's a family discussion, in the beginning it was Chase and his Mom and I and once he makes his decision, it's going to remain that, there's really no need for anybody else to be involved in the discussion. His AAU Coach will give some guidance if we ask for that since he's been in Chase's life for several years, as well as his staff. 

For some parents in the final deliberations, they share their thoughts with their son and they hope he goes with their thoughts while others will give their thoughts but leave it up to their son to make the decision—where do you guys fall in that spectrum?

You know, I think in the beginning we had discussions, like Chase's Mom, in the beginning she was thinking she really wanted to keep Chase kinda close which is not very hard to understand, but once we started progressing, we told Chase that wherever you decide to go, we will support you and wherever you are comfortable, we'll be there for you. Ultimately it's the kid's decision and I think it's very important for a parent to understand is that the only way their child is going to be truly happy with his decision is if he truly makes the decision on his own with the assistance of his parents. That's why it's important for us to say to Chase that no matter where you decide to go, we will be there to support you. Once he has that and once he understands that I have the support of my mom and dad with wherever I decide to go in the United States, he'll be fine with that. 

Are you guys waiting to see any other specific players commit before Chase makes his verbal commitment?

We're just watching, like watching the Jordan Brand, of course most of those schools had committed but we are waiting to see where Myles Turner goes and of course everything is on the hush/hush there which I of course respect that but we're looking forward to seeing where Myles goes tomorrow when he announces. We're looking forward to Ivan Rabb and Diamond Stone and the kid Henry out of Iowa, those players making those decisions and where they are going to play. 

Have you heard anything concrete with any of those kids are either likely to go or that they are planning on committing before Chase's decision comes ?

I know that, I've heard that Stephen Zimmerman is cutting his list real soon I believe, I haven't talked with Ivan Rabb since the season and I know that Chase talks to Henry on the telephone as well, I don't know what his relationship is like with Diamond Stone. I don't necessarily think we're going to know where they are going but I think it's impossible for 3 guys to all go to the same school, I think it's possible that 2 of the guys go to the same school which would put them against each other, like it might put somebody at the 3 or somebody at the 4. I think every school is looking for a championship and I think they are looking to bring in the best players that complement each other. We're not necessarily concerned with all the players on that list, we just want him to have a chance to compete for minutes and against the best players. We just don't want 3 bigs going to the same school, that's likely to limit playing time for somebody. 

Since you are evaluating the potential depth charts in the front court and how it relates to recruiting, which schools are you not concerned about with that evaluation?

That's our secret list, haha, that was good though, good question. We have our list, everybody we've talked to has said pretty much that Chase will be the man and we appreciate that. Obviously coaches keep their jobs by winning ballgames and whether Chase is the man or not, I gotta be honest with you, I do believe that all 6 top schools on Chase's list have said Chase would be their #1 guy so with that being said, i'm not concerned about other players because I would love to see Chase maybe play with Diamond Stone or Ivan Rabb, like I said, good kids, good families. 

How's Chase's height and weight at this point? Those measurements you mentioned, how recent are they?

He had his X-ray and MRI to make sure he was ok and the doctors said that his growth plates, they aren't even close to being closed, they are wide open, he has a potential to add another inch or two easy. The doctors out here are very good doctors, some of the best in the country and when they say his growth plates aren't even close to being closed it reminded us of a couple of years ago when they said something similar and Chase shot up another 6/7 inches, they think he can grow another couple inches and his body is strong and his motor, it's non-stop, I really hope he capitalizes on that and helps him to fulfill all his dreams by playing basketball, going to college to get an education, which is the number one thing, I think that's wonderful. I'll tell you what, our grocery bills with this guy, between the Chipotle and my grocery bill and his mom's grocery bill, the kid has great eating habits but with great eating habits comes great eating money haha. We're constantly giving him money so that he can eat right after he works out right. We talked with a few schools about the new NCAA rules regarding food for student athletes and it's pretty much going to be a 24 hour meal plan for some of these kids, which will be great. Another thing we look at is the scholarship program, the stipend that some schools give to help the kids out, other schools don't necessarily have a stipend but they do have a meal plan that's great, so the kids really don't have any wants or needs. We saw an article that Shabazz Napier really helped the existing kids in college and the new kids coming in to really have a full stomach when they go to bed, which I think is really fair for student/athletes because when they are at home, they don't go hungry. You have to be able to keep these kids fed and happy. 

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