Rudy Ready for Madness

D-day is quickly approaching for Rudy Gay, but his decision on whether to come to College Park may hinge squarely on his upcoming visit to Maryland for Midnight Madness.

D-day is quickly approaching for Rudy Gay, but his decision on whether to come to College Park may hinge squarely on his upcoming visit to Maryland for Midnight Madness.

The 6-8, 210-pound senior forward, who recently trimmed his list of candidates to UConn and Maryland, said that it could come down to how well he gets along with the Terps players.

``The most important thing is being comfortable with the players and fitting in," Gay said. "I've never really talked to the players at Maryland, other than Will Bowers (his teammate at Spalding). It's real strange, but every time I've gone there, I've pretty much left after watching the games. I've got to go up there, see the campus life and talk to the players."

That's something Gay has already done with the UConn players, since he took an official visit to Storrs, Conn., last month. The highlight of that trip was getting a chance to both meet and play with former Husky Caron Butler and current UConn big man, Emeka Okafor.

Don't expect Gay to make a decision during his visit on Midnight Madness or within a matter of hours of returning.

``Probably not days, but I'll try to get it done quickly," he added.

The level-headed and always laid-back Gay said that while it's not consuming him, he is getting a little stressed with the upcoming decision.

``I try to stay the same way I've been, but it's tough because it's such an important decision," Gay said. "I'm down to two schools now, two really good schools."

``I'm really looking forward to it," Gay added of the upcoming visit to College Park, where he will likely not only get a chance to meet the current players, but is also expected to rub elbows with former Terps stars Juan Dixon and Steve Blake.

Gay also admitted that while he was nearly dead-set on going to Maryland back when he was at Eastern Tech prior to his junior season, things changed when he transferred to Archbishop Spalding.

``Maryland had been on me for a long time, but then when I changed schools and got better academically I had a wider range of schools and wanted to explore them," Gay said. "The two schools are pretty close right now. They are two really good schools, both have won championships and both are going to stay high in the rankings. Otherwise, if I had a favorite, I would have probably already committed."

Gay said he's been working on getting stronger since the end of July, something that really enabled him to have his break-out summer. He's put on five pounds, but still laughs off all the NBA talk.

``It's always been about where I am going to go to school," he said. "I've never thought about going to the NBA out of high school. I can't see myself being able to do that. I'm not ready. Maybe I could be ready physically, but not mentally."

``To be honest, I still don't think I'm ready for college mentally."

Maryland, UConn and nearly every other D-1 program would beg to differ.


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