Vanderbilt Talks Busy Summer; Recruiting

Five star big forward has a list of schools standing out as he begins his junior year with Duke squarely in the mix. We spoke with Vanderbilt about playing on the AAU circuit, for Team USA, and just what kind of role he is looking for at the college level...also, why teams made a mistake ignoring parts of his game this summer.

LAS VEGAS -- It's been a long and difficult summer for five-star Class of 2017 forward Jarred Vanderbilt, who hasn't been home much. The 6-foot-8 native of Houston first played for USA Basketball in the FIBA U16 Americas in Argentina and then hit the camp and tournament circuit with Houston Hoops.

"I don't think I've had more than three days off at a time since school ended. It's been a long summer," Vanderbilt said.

Even though Vanderbilt is seemingly always playing, he's kept in steady touch with a handful of schools recruiting him.

"Texas, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor. It's kind of equal right now," Vanderbilt said.

The No. 7 overall prospect in the Class of 2017 showed an improved perimeter jumper during the week in Las Vegas, as the lefty went 5-for-7 from 3-point range during one day of play. Vanderbilt has been working on the jumper for a few reasons this summer.

"For one, guys were leaving me open. At first, I never shot it so it was like, 'oh, he's not going to shoot it.' They were leaving me open so I decided that I needed to get in the gym and get some shots up," Vanderbilt said. "By me knocking it down, they start to respect my jumper more and it opens up my drive. I took time with that, shooting thousands of shots a day trying to hit some threes and just expand my game more every day."

With the improved perimeter jumper, Vanderbilt is hoping to be more of a wing at the next level, although he could also probably play as a four because of his rebounding prowess and defensive ability.

"I see myself as being a three, stretch-four. I do better on the wing because I crash the boards," Vanderbilt said. "But I just [make plays]. Just try to either score for me or get my teammates involved."

During the next few months, Vanderbilt wants to visit with some schools and get familiar with some different campuses.

"Come August, September, I'll see a couple schools. A couple of midnight madnesses. I haven't decided on which schools yet, but I'll decide soon," Vanderbilt said.

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