As Washington and Seton Hall have dropped from Marcelus Kemp's list, two schools have come on strong. Gonzaga and Nevada-Reno. We caught up with the talented wing guard on Sunday afternoon.
"I'm enjoying the recruiting process," Kemp says, adding, "I'm in no hurry." He said he will be taking the SAT on October 13th and is preparing for it now, knowing it is a tough test. Until he receives his score he can't take any official visits (per NCAA rules), and those will probably be the deciding factor.
Kemp is not ruling out an unofficial visit to Gonzaga, however. He likes Gonzaga a lot and when asked if he had a leader, he named Gonzaga with Nevada-Reno. An unofficial visit means that he could drive over (5-6 hours) and visit but would have to pay all expenses himself.
One may wonder why Nevada-Reno. Marcelus' father is a friend of the Wolf Pack's head coach and the coach knows a good player with unlimited upside potential when he sees one. UNR has made it clear that Marcelus could likely start as a frosh.
Thus far, an Utah assistant has made an in-home visit. Gonzaga and Nevada-Reno have sent their top coaches to meet in home with Marcelus and his family. Oregon has yet to visit with him in home but remains interested.
All of the visits were similar but he liked what Gonzaga's staff had to say and what they had to offer, including academics, postseason play and solid connections to pro basketball overseas for future consideration. While more immediate playing time may await at a program like Nevada-Reno, it is every basketball players' dream to be playing and contributing in March. If Marcelus continues his upward rise (something everyone expects) and noteworthy improvement, the coaches made it clear that he'd have a legitimate shot at substantial playing time. Everybody is equal, regardless of class. That impressed Kemp.
Kemp says he's very happy with the schools that are interested. It takes almost a month to receive a score for the SAT so if he chooses a school early, it won't be until sometime in November when his Garfield Bulldogs are into their basketball season.
Marcelus came out of nowhere this past summer to rocket up the ratings to just miss the top-100 of all players in the country. There is good reason to believe that he will indeed be top-100 come Spring 2002. Kemp blew up at the abcd Adidas Camp and the Las Vegas Big-Time Tournament. The large-framed, athletic wing was considered by many experts and on-lookers to be one of the top guards at both prestigeous events. He also had stellar, high-scoring efforts at TheFinalScore.tv Invitational, leading his AAU team (Seattle Rotary Select) to the championship.
A personable, easy-going young man, Marcelus isn't stressed or rattled by all the attention he is receiving, the phone calls, the hordes of mail everyday, etc. He has a relaxed approach to it all and seems to know that all will end well.
When the visits are completed he'll sit down with his dad, mom and AAU coach to discuss his best option.
Kemp is a winner on a powerful high school team that loses very few games, makes the playoffs every year and is favored to win the 4A title. We at Gonzaga hope Marcelus Kemp remains a Bulldog where he can experience the success he is used to at Garfield but at a higher level.