The next several months will be crucial in the recruitment of Velma Jackson (MS) High School four-star point guard Nick Weatherspoon.
The 6-foot-2 Weatherspoon, who is ranked as the No. 73 overall player in 2017, including the 15th-best point guard, already holds offers from numerous major college programs, but the coming weeks and months will help the prized recruit begin to near a decision.
“I have to see who’s leaving from the school and who’s coming in recruitment-wise. That’ll be big,” Weatherspoon said. “It’ll be the end of the summer [when I decide].”
At present moment, Weatherspoon said the four schools sticking out in his recruitment include Mississippi State, Ohio State, Memphis and Iowa State. The likes of Ole Miss, Florida State, LSU, Miami (FL) and others have also offered.
With several program, there are connections.
Weatherspoon’s older brother, Quinndary Weatherspoon, just finished his freshman season as Mississippi State. At Iowa State, his lead recruiter, assistant William Small, hails from his home state and has developed a close relationship.
“I’ve got a good relationship with the assistant coach with him just being from Mississippi,” Weatherspoon said. “That has a lot to do with it and I like their style of play and I like how their guards play. I’m real close with Coach Small.”
Iowa State will be tasked with replacing three departing guards following the 2016-17 season, including point guard Monte Morris. The Cyclones’ top priority in the class is thus the point guard position and Weatherspoon is on a shortlist of targets.
“[Small] said, ‘We need you,’ because he said the point guard they’ve got now will be gone,” Weatherspoon said. “Everybody is telling me Iowa State is going to need a big point guard and he said I’m the guy to get that spot.”
Small visited Weatherspoon in Mississippi last Thursday and Iowa State will watch him play in Dallas this weekend as will many other schools.
The message from both Iowa State and Mississippi State has been that they’d like to develop Weatherspoon in the same manner they did their past guards, several of which went on to the NBA. That development will be one other large factor.
“I’ll have to see how the coach does and especially the coach developing their guards. That’s the biggest thing, because I love a coach who develops guards,” Weatherspoon said. “I know [MSU] Coach Ben Howland and I know Coach Small and they’re really good. I know Coach Howland has had a big guard like Russell Westbrook. Those are big things that I look at. I love coaches who develop their guards and are going to push me.”
Weatherspoon has also heard from Iowa State coach Steve Prohm, who put two point guards in the NBA while at Murray State.
“He said he wanted to develop me like an Isaiah Canaan-type on and off the court,” said Weatherspoon, referring to one of Prohm’s point guard successes. “He really compares me to Isaiah Canaan a lot.”
Now, Weatherspoon will have to sort through all the messages.