EYBL Hampton: Austin Wiley

One of the top 10 players in the class of 2017 is Birmingham (AL) power forward Austin Wiley. We sat down with the player and his father in Hampton to find out the latest in his recruitment and answer some questions about where he may be headed in the future.

So Austin, obviously you and your team are coming off a tough loss tonight, what do you say to yourself and your teammates after a game like that?

Austin Wiley: You just have to fight harder and not give up.

I noticed you playing a leadership role with your teammates with how much you talked on the court during the game..what’s your approach to being a leader on and off the court?

What our coaches say is that if a teammate is out of line we gotta put them in check but not in a rude way. You just gotta tell them what to do and help them out so that we can all get better, that’s what I try to do.

Yyou spent a lot of time around the painted area and you played a physical type game-have you always kinda naturally been a power type player?

Yes sir, I like to be called a true center because I don’t like to go outside and do all that, I like to do my work in the paint.

For guys who play that center role in high school, some may want to go into college and be the man while others want to be a player in a rotation of big men on the team. What’s your preferred approach you think when thinking about college?

Either one is fine, I just want to go to a place where I can just fit in and play my game.

Who do you think has been doing a good job the last five years or so with players like you in their program?

Kentucky, UNC and Duke.

What do you notice about how those 3 programs utilize their big men Austin?

Duke this year used Okafor really well. They were giving him the ball in the post a lot. With Kentucky they use multiple bigs and play high low action a lot. UNC does the same thing, I think they all do a pretty good job there.

Do any of them have a more favorable approach to how they use their big men in your opinion?

No sir.

With Duke, was your interest sparked in them just this year, or does it go further back?

I always liked Duke, but this year it was good to see how they used a post player the way they did because they usually don’t have a true 5-man, so yeah that was good. I’m happy that they know how to add a true five player.

What’s the communication been like with either you or your family with the Duke staff?

Yes sir, Duke, UNC, not Kentucky yet but they were at the game and they seemed pretty impressed. My dad has talked with the Duke assistants. They really like me.

With having participated in USA Basketball—did you form any friendships with guys there?

Yeah, Troy Brown. I knew Troy from the Elite 100 and Wendell (Carter) he was there too. I knew a lot of players there and I got to know them better.

There’s been a bit of a trend with some guys who played USA Basketball together who went to school together, is that something you are looking at doing?

Yes sir, I would like to play with another good player, with Wendell Carter, he was my teammate last year too.

How much do you and Wendell actually discuss playing together in college?

We don’t really talk about it, but it’s always an option. He’d be the 4 and I’d be the 5, haha.

Which programs have you had the opportunity to visit so far?

Not many yet, just Auburn and Alabama, I visited Vandy, that’s about it.

Any big plans for visits this spring or summer potentially?

I’m looking to visit Duke and UNC. They requested to me to come visit but I don’t know yet when we are going. I haven’t really talked about it with my parents yet.

Duke and UNC are obviously big rivals from playing each other so long—what’s your thoughts on being recruited by both of them?

It’s a blessing, just shows that hard work pays off.

Is the communication with the UNC staff more than what you have with Duke at this point?

They actually started recruiting me last year, Duke started this year.

From a scholarship offer perspective—what programs have extended firm, committable scholarship offers to you at this point?

Auburn, Alabama, Texas A&M, K State, that’s all I can think of right now.

Which programs are you hoping to have an offer from before your recruiting process is all said and done?

Duke, UNC, Indiana, Missouri, Georgetown, that’s about it.

So June 15 is right around the corner and you will able to have your own phone calls with college coaches. What programs are you really looking forward to having increased communication with directly after that?

Duke, UNC, Georgetown, I’ve been talking to Auburn to potentially get up there soon to visit, Alabama so I can get to know Avery Johnson, he was here and watching our game this morning. That’s about it.
In your mind, what do you see happening if Duke, Kentucky, UNC, Georgetown or others extend scholarship offers to you ? How will that affect your recruiting consideration if all or some of them offer you?

I’m blessed to have two parents who have been through it, so they will help me out.

What are your academic interests?

I really like history.

We spoke with Austin’s father shortly after the above interview…

Mr. Wiley, Austin mentioned how much of an impact you have with your guidance on his recruiting process, can you shed some light on how you approach the recruiting process including communicating with the college coaches?

Well, it’s really just taking a lot of pressure off of him, just letting him think and enjoy this and just relax. He’s young, 16 years old, I just want to enjoy his life, school, basketball. It’s fun to take care of the rest of the stuff. I talk with the coaches.

When you are talking with college programs about their interest in your son—what kind of feedback are you having?

How can my son fit into their programs.

How do you feel about Austin being able to have phone calls himself after June 15?

We are going to keep it to a minimum, they will probably talk with him something like once a week, but every night, no sir.

What is your reaction to having been contacted by Duke and UNC about Austin?

Oh that’s awesome, at first it’s a shock for sure. They went through the high school coach first and then we got in contact, I can call them, they can’t call me. They were all here today watching.

What’s your plan towards timing of Austin’s recruitment?

He’ll probably take some visits for sure, I think he may decide going into his senior year.

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