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Jason Horton: Still a Mizzou lean (or not)?

Cedar Hill, Texas point guard talks about his interest in Kansas, his conversation with Jayhawk coach Bill Self today and refutes speculation he will verbally commit to Missouri soon in an exclusive Phog.net interview. <img src="http://media.theinsiders.com/media/site_logo/premium.gif">

Jason Horton, the younger brother of Michigan sophomore point guard, Daniel, the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year in 2003, averaged 16.8 points, 7.2 assists and 3.2 steals last season. He also shot 37 percent (68-for-183) from three-point range.

A proven floor leader, Horton breaks down opponents with his dribble drive, yet he's also a gifted shooter from beyond the arch. He's able to penetrate the lane with ease, which allows him to get his teammates involved as well. He's also an equally tough defender with a notorious reputation for hounding opposing point guards into costly turnovers.

Phog.net caught with Horton today, just hours after talking with Kansas coach Bill Self and days before he travels to Bloomington, Indiana for this weekend's Nike Memorial Day Classic, an AAU tournament.

Phog.net: As of right now, what's your level of interest in Kansas?

Horton: "It's very high. I like the tradition, coaching staff and style of play."

Phog.net: That being said, do you have a top five right now?

Horton: "Yeah, it's Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Arizona State and Arkansas. That's not in any order. You can add Florida State in there too."

Phog.net: In recent days, there's been heightened speculation that you're on the verge of pledging to Missouri. Is that true?

Horton: "No, but I'm looking at them really hard, but everybody else is in it. I'm still open."

Phog.net: Where does Kansas fit into your recruitment and when did you last talk to Coach Self?

Horton: "I just talked to him today on the phone at school. It was a bunch of small talk, but Coach Self made it clear that he really wants me at Kansas. He kept telling me, 'Keep Kansas in mind.' I'm gonna keep doing that."

Phog.net: Did Coach Williams' decision to accept the job at North Carolina help or hurt your opinion of Kansas?

Horton: "It made them (Kansas) more attractive, because Coach Self is a younger coach and he brings a different type of energy to the program. That's very important to younger players like me."

Phog.net: Do you plan to visit Kansas any time soon?

Horton: "I'll be there for an unofficial (visit) around June 16. I'm looking forward to the trip."

Phog.net: What other schools will you visit?

Horton: "Unofficially, I'll visit Arizona State, Florida, Missouri and Kansas this summer and then take my officials next fall."

Phog.net: Do you have a timetable for your commitment?

Horton: "Nope, not at all. I'm even willing to wait until next November if that's what it comes down to. I'm really hoping that doesn't happen, but if that's what it takes for me to be comfortable, then I'll do it."

Phog.net: How will you know when you've found that perfect fit?

Horton: "I'll just know. I can't explain it, but I'll know when the time is right. After I take my unofficial visits, I'll know which schools make me feel most comfortable."

Phog.net: With school winding down, how are classes?

Horton: I'm finished on (May) the 30th, but it's going good. I'm spending a lot of time preparing for my first shot at the SAT on June 7th."

Phog.net: What are your thoughts on taking the SAT?

Horton: "I'm prepared for it. I know I'll pass. I'm aiming to score over 1,100."

Phog.net: Over the past two years, you watched your brother, Daniel, endure the recruiting process. What did you learn from that experience?

Horton: "To wait and find a place where I feel real comfortable at. I don't want to rush my decision. I want to do what makes me happy and make the decision based on where I see myself fitting in the most."

Phog.net: At the collegiate level, what basketball skills will be your greatest strengths?

Horton: "Passing, defense and my ability to get to the paint. I'm also capable of knocking down the jumper."

Phog.net: What aspect of your game needs the most improvement?

Horton: "I need to pull up off the dribble more when I get in the paint. Sometimes, I get too deep or look to pass too much, instead of elevating and hitting the little jumper."

Phog.net: Regardless of level, is there another point guard you like to compare yourself to?

Horton: "Not really, I'm my own player."

Phog.net: Growing up, what schools did you follow?

Horton: "All the big-time schools like Arizona, Duke, North Carolina and Kansas."

Phog.net: With Kansas and Missouri, two bitter rivals, competing for your services, has that rivalry crossed your mind?

Horton: "A little bit, but there's lots of rivalries in college basketball. However, I'm fully aware how intense it (Kansas-Missouri) can be."

Phog.net: Your family's relationship with Kansas shooting guard Keith Langford, a Fort Worth native and friend of your brother's, is well-documented. Has Langford talked to you about attending Kansas?

Horton: "He's been in my ear a little. He says Kansas is a great place and that I'd really like it there."

Phog.net: What your most vivid memory of Kansas basketball from this past season?

Horton: "I'll never forget watching them beat Texas (in Lawrence). Nick Collison dominated with a double-double (24 points, 23 rebounds) and still beat T.J. (Ford), even though he scored 25 points."

Phog.net: Anything you'd like to share with Phog.net's members?

Horton: "Coach Self is a great coach. He'll just keep building on what they've already accomplished."

Phog.net: Jason, thanks for your time today.

Horton: "Sure, I'll be (at the Nike Memorial Day Classic) in Bloomington (Indiana) this weekend. Give me a call when I get back and we'll talk (again)."

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