McCallum In No Rush With Recruiting

Perhaps the biggest recruiting story surrounding the Blue Devils' efforts in the class of 2010 centers around Duke's desire to land of the nation's top floor generals. With strong ties to the top three lead guards in the class, there's no shortage of interest surrounding the position amongst the fan base. One of the target, Michigan's Ray McCallum, spoke with TDD at the NBA Camp.

Throughout the week Detroit (MI) Country Day standout Ray McCallum made it his mission to justify his lofty status in the class of 2010. Whether it was match-ups against the other elite players in the country on an individual level or simply guiding his team to a win. McCallum certainly put in some solid work and turned a number of heads.

"I think I've done really well here," said McCallum. "I'm just trying to run my team and get guys involved on both ends of the court. Trying to get guys equal touches. We struggled at times this week with getting everyone's roles right on defense, but it's coming together for us."

One way in which the five start point guard is attempting to lead his team is by example. In such a talent ladened environment, it's not hard to find challenges needed for such action.

"[At an event like this] you've got to be focused every single game. I've just tried to bring it every game because the talent forces you to play your best. No game has really been just back and forth and up and down -- we're all trying to play hard and play the right way."

Playing the right way comes easy for McCallum who may very well have a leg up on some of his top prep running mates since his father is a college coach and has embedded the proper way to play the game in his son for years. Not only that, McCallum has been able to learn about the recruiting process from a somewhat unique angle.

"I've been around the game since I was really young, so I'm able to tell if programs are just telling you what you want to hear. I try to look at the situations to see what's going on. I don't want to be a guy that commits early and then winds up wanting out. For me, I don't mind waiting and getting all the information that I need. I need to know the coaches there. I have to know if the system is the right fit for me as a point guard who wants the ball in his hands. A lot of programs have big names, but what if that coach gets fired or leaves? Having my dad there...he'll tell the coaches the types of situations I'm not interested in."

Which are?

"I don't want to be one of those "program" type guards who comes in and plays a little and then sophomore year I may play a little more. I want to make an impact from Day One for whatever program I choose. That's what I'm looking for."

But an immediate chance to get on the floor and make an impact is just one of the factors in what promises to be a well considered decision.

"There are a lot of things I'm looking at. I'm looking at the depth chart and seeing what other guys are there and are coming in. If they have a really good point guard there already or if another is coming in. I've always said I want to go somewhere that I could earn the chance to play as a freshman. I want the ball in my hands and I want to help the team win a championship."

So what does he believe he would bring to a program in the fall of 2010?

"I consider myself a true point guard. A lot of guards now - they say they are point guards, but they are really more combo guards who want to score the ball. I'm interested in seeing how these programs see me as a player, and what they are going to have on the roster, and how I'll fit in."

At this point several high major programs have come calling including Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, LSU, Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Memphis, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, and UCLA. Most have offered or are in the process of offering after the July evaluation period.

And while some schools are touting McCallum as their top priority in the class of 2010, the Blue Devils have made it clear that they cannot afford to focus all of their recruiting attention on just one player at this point. It's something the high major prospect has no problem with and appreciates.

"They've told me they are recruiting Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, and Joe Jackson as well. Coach James talked with me about it the day before I came to NBA Camp. It actually makes me feel really good knowing that I'm considered alongside those guys as one of the top point guards in the 2010 class. I mean it's Duke and Duke only recruits the best every year. It definitely makes me feel really good to know they want to recruit me and it's an honor to be included in the list of players they are looking at for that position."

In addition to speaking with Nate James at Duke, McCallum says he's also spoken with assistant coach Chris Collins and has seen both coaches at open gyms so far this year. He's also emailed and called the coaches on a few occasions, but is letting the process work itself out with Duke and several other programs.

"I've got my email linked up with my cell phone so whenever I hear from a school I try to email them right back. Every school that is recruiting me emails me, and I try to respond quickly. But I'm also letting the coaches come to me. I'm not the type to reach out to schools unless they are calling or emailing me. It helps me see who is the most serious."

After leaving the NBA Camp, McCallum will return to the AAU circuit and get ready for the various show camps. After the summer concludes, he expects to take all five of his allotted official visits, although he's not sure where.

"I will definitely take all five [visits], but I'm not looking to commit anywhere soon. I'm not sure which schools I want to check out yet. I think once the summer ends I'm going to be able to sit down with my family and narrow down my list a bit. Then I'll have a better idea which schools I really want to visit."

Interview conducted by Steve Clark at 2009 NBAPA Camp


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