You were pretty busy on the visit front of late…
Gary Trent: It was crazy, it was a little bit tiring.
So, diving right in, let’s take a look at your Kentucky visit…how did it go?
It was good, everything was great. I had the opportunity to see them practice and to see how they operate, I got to see all the facilities and we got to see a lot of the all-around campus. Everything was really well structured and I liked it. It was my first time seeing the University in person, I had seen some photos, so it was good to see the actual campus from my point of view. As we headed there I had a lot of curiosity and interest to see what all the hype is all about.
With your expectations for the Kentucky visit, how did reality stack up against expectaion?
Yeah I just went down there to see the facilities and see how everything was structured, it’s even like an NBA arena when you look at their arena and with how the locker room is made and how the showers and stuff like that is setup.
What about the visit was "well structured"?
It was really because they took me when I got there to see everything that I wanted to see on campus. They showed me what the dorms are like, they showed me their cafeteria, they showed how close everything is and how easy it would be for me to get from point A to point B without having to go through any hassles and stuff like that.
Do you feel like you got all your questions answered going in that you were hoping to learn more information about?
Yeah for right now the little questions I had, I didn’t have any deep questions but when I get closer to making my decisions I’m sure I’ll have more deeper questions that I’ll need to ask.
When you think about the potential big picture questions with Kentucky, what kinds of things do you think you’ll need to learn about with them?
During an official visit, also when I get down to choosing and I’m looking at the academic side of things because that’s one of the most important things to know, I have a little idea now about the basketball program but there’s still so much to learn there. This visit kinda gave me a summary in a sense with that stuff, but not the whole look.
How did Coach Calipari and his staff choose to spend their time with you during the visit? Were there a lot more sit down conversations, or was it more taking you around and talking while you were seeing the campus?
Yeah it was really just hanging out, seeing the practices and having meetings and stuff like that. It was showing me how they spent time together on the weekend. He was telling me that if you want to come to Kentucky, there’s so many things that you can do when you are here that can help you in preparing for the next level with how to prepare to be a better player and stuff like that. He shared some stories here and there too.
How many opportunities prior to that have you had the opportunity to sit down and really talk with Coach Cal?
We’ve talked a couple of times one on one on the phone, but I think this was the first opportunity I had to sit down with him in person. I had my own time with him separate from when he was meeting with all the recruits that were there.
Now that you are post visit at Kentucky, have you noticed any kind of evolution in how you feel about them and the potential situation for you there as to how you felt prior to the visit?
Yeah you could say it’s a little bit better. I feel a little bit more connected to the coaches and having a good vibe with them. You could say that in a sense. When we watched the practice all the recruits were there and then we were just chilling out at the game. I knew Malik Monk, Harry Giles, couple guys on the visit—it was basically hanging out with me and my friends.
Then you made your way to Duke the next day….
Yeah I think we got up around like 3 o’clock or something like that. We flew out around five in the morning to head there. The plan with them was the same thing as with Kentucky, we wanted to see the University in person and just really learn about it, build relationships and see what Duke has to offer.
Now that you are post visit with Duke, is there a change for you in your feelings or thought process towards them versus what you were thinking prior to the visit?
I would say it’s up a little bit more. I liked them a lot as well and the two schools are really different from each other. Duke has a big castle type feeling to it, like an old and a real college and stuff like that. With Kentucky it’s like, you can say in a sense that their gym is NBA-ish in a sense with how big it is and how the showers and the ice baths and stuff like that is setup, it’s like the best of both worlds with both places. I like them both because with Duke I like the castle type feel to it, it feels like olden times in a way. I’m just looking at whatever happens happens with this process as I learn more.
How did the time get spent with the Duke staff during the course of the visit?
It was really the same, I actually got to tour the campus with Wendell (Carter Jr) and we got to see the facilities, dorms, all the above and everything was really nice. It looked like it was high maintenance and everything was really clean and looked good. Tre Jones was with us as well, most of the time when we first got there, Tre was there a little bit before us, then I got there and then Wendell came—so we just toured around and had fun together, we enjoyed everything. We were together and then sometimes we went and we each had an individual meeting with Coach K, well at least I know I had one, I can speak to that.
How did your meeting go with Coach K?
He was telling me more about the University and what it’s all about and then he was going through kinda the plan for the day, stuff like that.
When you watched the game—who did you have opportunity to sit with?
At the Kentucky game I sat with Trae Young and Malik Monk and that was fun, and we all enjoyed the game. Then at Duke I sat next to Tre Jones and then we went over to the Cameron Crazies section because they were calling us over and we decided to go over there. The fans were saying stuff like, “we love all our players here, we cheer loud”, and man…they were really, really loud, that was fun to see. It was a fun part of the visit but at the end of the day you do want to go to a place where the fans love you and that’s how it is for a lot of colleges where even if you lose, the fans still support you and come out for you. I don’t think it factors into the decision, but it’s good to see.
Questions wise for you with Duke, what if any are there for you moving forward now that you have visited them?
Really just how good the visit was and how much fun my time was there during the visit—it was fun. Question mark part of it, I really didn’t have many, I asked some questions here and there-it wasn’t major things. Everything’s been fine.
What’s the next steps for you with your visit schedule?
We’ll have to see, I’ll probably do one or two in the next few months, we’re not sure yet where we’ll go for those.
Is it really important that you take all five available official visits?
That’s kinda hard to answer right now because there’s so many schools right now, so when I cut the list down based on the relationship with the coaches that I have, it’s going to be crazy to see how it goes because it’s too soon to tell. Going into both visits with Duke and Kentucky, I had never seen either place except in some photos, now that I’ve gotten to see the facilities they were great and I really enjoyed the visits.