BALTIMORE, Md. -- TT caught up with Mount Saint Joseph's Coach Pat Clatchey and star players senior Darryl Morsell, who may be making his college decision soon between Maryland and Notre Dame, and underclassmen Jalen Smith and James Bishop between a strength and conditioning workout at the MSJ track on Tuesday afternoon at the Baltimore prep power.
In Part I, we break down the big decision looming for Morsell, the four-star, 6-4 'jack-of-all-trades' guard with the Terps, Notre Dame and Dayton the big three.
TT: Darryl, first thing’s first, did you eliminate Dayton, and are they no longer getting an official visit from you this month?
DM: Dayton is still involved, and I may take a visit there in mid-November. But I just got like a lot of school work and basketball right now, and my focus is on that right now, because your senior year is so important.
TT: As we stand here right now, have you made a college decision in your mind, but just are not ready to announce it yet?
DM: No, not at all. I am just taking it day by day as of right now. I still have to talk it all over with my parents, my family, all of that.
TT: A lot of the talk has been that its down to Maryland and Notre Dame. So is that premature?
DM: Dayton is still involved. The visit out there could be late next month during their season. I would go out their for a game, or when I have a break. That would be my official as I have already been out there unofficially. (On a scale of 1-10 if he takes the trip), I'd say probably a '6.' I know what their campus is like, I got a feel for it when I went out there, and they were my first big offer. So they have been there from the start. So those three schools are my final ones.
TT: How was your recent trip to UMD for Maryland Madness?
DM: Oh, it was cool. But nothing really new as I have been there like 3-4 times now. It was just different players out there this time. And Coach Turgeon came out on a car, things like that, which was cool. But I have seen everything there now.
TT: So who is pushing the hardest right now for you among the schools, and among Maryland and Notre Dame especially?
DM: Maryland, Notre Dame, they all are full-out right now for me. All the head coaches are making me feel like a big priority, they are in to see me all the time.
Maryland I have an in-home with them [Oct. 20]. Notre Dame came in-home last week. They just all are making me a priority, tell me they need me in their program. But I still don't know which school I will choose. I mean I could possibly get it done before the season, but honestly I just don't know yet. Both are great options for me, so it's sort of that (choosing between two top programs). But I just want to be sure, as close to 100 percent as I can with the decision of where I want to go, and I am not really there yet. Right now, I don't have any other plans to visit either school as I have seen them a lot and know most everything now about them.
TT: Talk about the two schools just quickly, and what they have to offer you.
DM: I have built a great relationship with Coach [Mike] Brey. I love him. Their degree is like, you get a degree from Notre Dame and you are set for life. They are in the ACC and they lose two starting guards. The opportunity is there for me right away, Maryland is deeper than Notre Dame right now at the guard spots.
Then Maryland is home, it's closer. Now, it's still from my house (Owings Mills, Md.) it's still like an hour away. But if i was home I would be able to see my family, my family would be able to come see me play, so that would all be nice.
TT: How tedious have all the interview questions become for you, and do you want to end this soon?
DM: It's dying down more now. At first I was tired of it because it was something new to me. Its dying down now, but I am not as bothered by it any more, so it's cool.
TT: After the countless hoops and recruiting questions tell us something we don't know about you, a skill, hobby, other interest beyond round-ball, for fans to get to know you some more.
DM: (laughs) I mean, I am really a basic guy. I don't do too much else beyond academics and basketball. I have a 3.5 GPA and I want to study business. And Notre Dame actually is ranked No. 1 in business. But Maryland is also very high, and that is what I want to study at college.
TT: And back to hoops, how loaded is this MSJ team this year with you, and Jalen Smith and Co. Your coach, Pat Clatchey, must be amped for this season to start, and what will your role be this season?
DM: I think we should win every game in the state, definitely be in the championships, definitely be highly competitive and run the state. And I can play the 1, 2, 3, or 4 positions for us. And in college the 1 or the 2 at that level. Right now I am 6-foot-4, and 198 pounds and pretty versatile.
TT: Finally, growing up, were you a Terps fan, get to many games, have any favorite players, etc?
DM: No, not really. I used to watch them on local TV, but really it was Kansas for me with guys like guard Mario Chalmers, you know, the year they won the NCAA title. Guys like Thomas Robinson, the Morris twins, those guys.