Q: Describe the two players and their respective styles of play?
A: First off with Marvin, he's one of the top recruits nationally and what sets him apart is not just his basketball on the court, but off the court he's such a great kid. I'm sure a lot of coaches would say that about their kids, but if you don't know Marvin and meet him for the first time, everybody I've talked to comes away with the same impression. He's a legitimate 6-8. Right now as far as high school basketball, especially here in the state of Washington he's been a 4 or a 5, but he has skills and will probably be a 3 or 4 in college.
I know in the summer I try to get him on the perimeter some, play him at the three, play him at the four. I never play him at the five. He's able to dribble, he's able to pass, he's able to shoot. Things to work on: his footwork on the perimeter as far as defense and learning how to use his length and his size. He could always work on his ballhandling, and he's a great kid, and he has great work ethic, and I think those are the strengths of Marvin Williams.
Josh Heytvelt is another one of those kids, he's probably a little taller than 6-9. He's a 4, and I think he's gonna be a 4. He shoots the ball really well from 3-pt range for his size when he gets his body square and his feet set. And he's very athletic. A lot of people started to take notes about him last summer and this spring and this summer he's starting to get a lot of attention.
He's from a smaller town in Washington. A lot of people didn't know about him until we took him out last year. It was his first experience playing on the national level-playing in an AAU-type setting playing against other top players from other states. So he has just a tremendous upside. I think the more he learns how hard he needs to work day in and day out and that he could be as good as competition, he'll get even better. He's already better than a lot of that competition, and he hasn't played against it on a daily basis in his league at home.
Every time we go out on the road, he steps up a little bit more and he plays a little bit harder, and as long as he can do that on a consistent basis, he's another 6-9'1/2 guy who can shoot, who's athletic, has perimeter skills but then can also go get you that rebound and so I think that's kind of what has put him on the level of being a national recruit.
Q: KU's had cases of both high school and AAU teammates going on to play college ball together in the past, have Marvin and Josh expressed interest in playing together at the next level?
Yeah, I think they could end up playing at the same school just because they're being recruited by some of the same schools, but at the same time they're not looking to be a package deal. They get along great, they're great teammates and so forth, but they're not looking to be a package deal. I mean, if you try to get Marvin Williams, you don't have to take Josh Heytvelt or vice versa. But right now they're both being recruited by the same schools, and we're trying to find the best fit for each of them individually, and if it happens to be at he the same school and they discuss it and that's what they want to do, I think it will still be one of those things where they're not going as a package deal, but they're going because that's the best place for both of them individually.
Q: How's Marvin schedule for college visits shaping up?
He went to Arizona this past weekend, he's going to do the home visit here at the University of Washington this week and then I believe June 10th he'll be headed out to North Carolina. His thinking about that is that he wanted to get some visits under his belt before the whole summer thing started up. He wanted to get a feel for some of these visits and the way he's taking them is sort of weird because he's still pretty open, but he's started picking his visits just on the schools that started recruiting him the earliest, that showed the initial interest him. He's just remained loyal to them as far as going to see their schools.
He's visiting schools in no particular order as far as what he's thinking about first, second or third, that's just how it turned out based on availability for the visits. Then I know after the summer, when he comes back and starts school in September I know he's going to take two more visits. There are some schools that are close enough to make some unofficial visits as well. I know he's been to Kansas on an unofficial visit, but I think he's going to go back because that first one was under the old coaching staff, and now with the new coaching staff I pretty much assume he'll take a visit to Kansas and then Oregon is also involved because he's really good friends with Aaron Brooks who played for us last year.
Q: Has the coaching change at Kansas affected Marvin and Josh's views of the KU basketball program?
I asked Marvin about that and the thing with him is he loves Coach Williams but at the same time he loves Kansas Bremerton is more of a smaller city, it's not quite as big as Seattle itself. It's a similar setting and town atmosphere to Lawrence, Kansas which I think appeals to Marvin a lot. Not to mention that their basketball is big time at Kansas.
He really hit it off with Coach Williams and I think a lot of people were just assuming he would definitely go to North Carolina when Roy left, but that's not necessarily the case. Kansas is still in the running. I've met the new staff there. Coach Self and Coach Roberts, I've both talked to and they're really good guys. Like I said, I think the fact it's Kansas is really appealing to Marvin so it's not an automatic "check them off the list now".
Q: What's Josh's current mindset on Kansas?
I think, similar to Marvin, Josh is the same way. There are some schools that are recruiting Marvin that aren't recruiting Josh, but for the most part, I think that in talking with Josh, Kansas is definitely up there and in his top 3 or 4 schools.
Recent article on Marvin's visit to Arizona from Cattracks
Rock Chalk Sports Talk can be heard in the Lawrence area, weekday afternoons from 4-6 on ESPN Radio 1320 KLWN.