CONCORD, N.C. — After a bumpy start against a grueling schedule, the Cannon School Cougars have righted the ship, winning five straight led by 4-star wing Jairus Hamilton.
“It’s definitely feeling a little bit better,” Hamilton said. “We started off the season kind of feeling ourselves out — trying to figure this things out. We’re finding out spots now. We’re getting on a hot streak now.
“I feel like every time we step on the court we have to bring it. If we don’t bring it, somebody else is going to come out and take it from it.”
The 6-foot-9 2018 prospect has nearly a dozen offers now, and is hearing from some of the best programs in college basketball.
“Everything in recruiting is going really well right now. I’m not going to lie,” Hamilton said. “A lot of schools are contacting me daily, and I’m interacting with a lot of different people. I’m really blessed.”
Hamilton said he hears a lot from Kansas, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. California and Arizona have also gotten in the mix, with Louisville the latest to offer.
“Louisville assistant coach (Mike) Balado came to watch me play early in the season and like my game a lot,” Hamilton said. “He offered me at the end of the night, which was a blessing. He keeps in touch with me, telling me I’m a great ball handler and have great vision. He likes the way I play the game a lot.”
Kansas assistants Kurtis Townsend and Norm Roberts are Hamilton’s main contacts with the Jayhawks.
“They contact me a lot. They text me telling me I’m playing terrific and to keep it up,”Hamilton said. “They’re trying to get down here, but it’s just so far and they’re in the middle of the season. It’s hard.
“They wanted me to come over for Late Night at the Phog, but it was tough to get out there.”
Hamilton’s coach, Che Roth said they may make the trip for Senior Night the first weekend in March.
“It’s a cultural experience,” Roth said. “It’ll change your life.”
Hamilton said there’s a lot to like about Kansas.
“I love the history. Great players come through there all the time,” he said. “They’re an elite team that’s always winning. Every year now. I love the coaching staff, and everybody is a winner.”
Other schools reaching out are Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina and Wake Forest.
“I hear from (Wake Forest) coach (Danny) Manning and coach (Steve) Woodberry like every other day,” Hamilton said. “They’re always calling me. I like them a lot. I like the way they coach. I like the way they reach out to me, and they see a really big future for me.
“They told me to look out for their game (against Xavier). I like the way they keep in touch with me, and critique me all the time.”
Though Hamilton recruitment still has a ways to go, he has a general sense for what he’s looking for at the next level.
“Really looking for the perfect fit for me,” he said. “Going away from home isn’t such a big thing that’s a deal breaker for me. I want to go to a place where I can contribute real quickly and be on the court fast — play my position and my role on the team.”