Sam Webb: First, take me through your season last year. How did it go?
Matt Costello: "It started out kind of rough. I tried to be a power player and I'm not the best power player in the world. I was just trying to go through people. I did not try to go around people, but I eventually learned and got to a better leadership role in playing my game. I started doing more of my finesse moves and developed a shot. Dribbling under pressure got better. So it took a while, but I've started to mature throughout the season to the point that I am now. I still have a lot of head room left because I'm not even close to where I should be. It's working out pretty well."
Sam Webb: You just gave us sort of a brief glimpse, but if you were a scout in the stands or a coach in the stands and you were watching yourself on the basketball court, what would the scouting report on you be?
Matt Costello: "Starting, he's an inside-out player. He'll start in the post and then if he is not getting in there, he'll try to pop out and try to drive you baseline or spin you baseline. Look back side for openings, for open shots for other teammates. Ball pick and roll. I like to do a lot. Defense, guarding perimeter players and stopping the three and also post up, guarding post, keeping hands straight up and not jumping. Rebounding and boxing out he does pretty well. He breaks the press because most the time big guys do not like to guard big guys full court. I'll just dribble it up."
Sam Webb: Going back to your high school season, you had some pretty memorable matchups. I talked to Trey Zeigler about you and he was one of the guys that really talked about your game and was really impressed with what you are able to do on the basketball floor. What do you remember about your matchups with Trey and how do you think you acquitted yourself?
Matt Costello: "My dad just told me that I got schooled pretty bad (laughter). It was rough the first go around, just getting used to his speed and his moves because most of the time we guarded each other. Once you sat down and you just tried to stay in front of him and you got help side for the defensive part of it, it started to clean up. Now granted they still beat us by 15 or more each time but yeah we pretty much got beat bloody every time. I would say that me going growing as a player, I did not do very well. There wasn't much…"
Sam Webb: It's funny that you say that because often times you're your own worse critic. I remember distinctly speaking to him and him in talking about the matchups that kid can play. He's going to be really, really good. Sometimes it is kind of a gradual process. Is that kind of what happens on the AAU circuit? Do you see more guys like a Trey Zeigler that sort of test your game and allow you to measure your game a little bit more?
Matt Costello: "Yes definitely. I see them and their athletic ability and try to counteract it with intelligence because I'm not the most athletic player. Just working on the mental part of the game, yeah I see a lot more of that on the AAU circuit. This year throughout the AAU circuit we haven't played against bigs. So I've had to take guards, slashing forwards. So I haven't had straight bigs. So moving feet and stuff like that."
Sam Webb: One of the similarities between you and Trey is he also has a dad that's a coach. What is that dynamic like with you? Is he harder on you than other players? Do you just know what he wants so it is easier for you. How would you sort of classify the coach-player relationship when your coach is your dad?
Matt Costello: "I would say it is easier and harder. Easier because I do know what he expects and I've worked through some of the drills a billion times and so I'm used to it and I know he knows what he's talking about because it has worked before. It's harder because he does expect more of than other players because he knows I can achieve more. So he pushes me harder. Sometimes I forget that he's my coach and I think he's my dad and I snap back at him sometimes when I shouldn't (laughter)."
Sam Webb: Alright, onto recruiting, I know I saw you at a number of Michigan games last year. It sounds like you've made it to a number of Michigan State games as well. What have those schools been saying to you about how you might fit into their plans?
Matt Costello: "Michigan said I would be more of a Zack Novak type of players, slashing in and out. Granted Zack is undersized, but he does very good and he works hard. They would see more as that kind of a player. Michigan State hasn't talked much about it, so I can't really comment on that."
Sam Webb: Well in a general sense than without getting into specifics of how you might fit with them, just your visiting experiences to both schools; what were those like for you. What were your impressions of the programs and of the coaches?
Matt Costello: "Michigan State, I haven't taken an unofficial there yet. I've just gone to games and open gyms and stuff, so I've got to meet the coaches and the players. Tom Izzo speaks for himself. It's him. Coach Montgomery, a very good man and all the players seem like good people. Coach Beilein and his staff, we took an unofficial visit there and saw the academics and saw the campus. Our whole family was very impressed with what they had going on there. We enjoyed what we saw and we look forward to learning more about the University."
Sam Webb: When did you take your unofficial visit to Michigan?
Matt Costello: "Oh man, I think it was about a month ago."
Sam Webb: I know June 15th, I know you did not want coaches to call you that day, but it sounds like some did. Did you get any indications prior to that that some of those coaches would be calling to offer you scholarships on that day?
Matt Costello: "Yes, a couple. Coach Beilein talked to me, (Wednesday) and said he would offer me a scholarship. No other colleges have really talked more about that. He's the only one that I really talked to."
Sam Webb: Have any other schools already offered you scholarships verbally?
Matt Costello: "Oakland University and USC."
Sam Webb: Again, I know it is a long, long way off for you, but have you guys sort of established a timeline for how you want your process to play out. It sounds like from talking to your dad, you guys have one already established in that you really did not want to start focus on recruiting until your school year was over. But long term when it comes to narrowing your list and coming up with a decision, is that something that is going to play out your senior year or do you want it to play out prior to that?
Matt Costello: "I would like it to wrap up before the start of my senior school year. I would like to just relax and have a good time for the basketball season and work hard and play hard and have no pressure or anything. Yeah that would be the timeline of when I would like it…everything wrapped up. Now it could happen before that if we see something blatantly obvious but that is when I would like to have it finished."
Sam Webb: So when you guys as a family get ready to sit down and make that decision prior to your senior year, what do you think are going to be the most significant factor in that choice?
Matt Costello: "My mom keeps pointing at herself and saying that she does not want me to move far away. I think most mothers are like that. That would be a decently big part about being far away. I would like to stay close to home. The academics, I would like to have high academics at the university that I go to, also, the coaches, then the people. I just want them to be around good people, godly people would be very nice. Also, the style of ball, I'd like them to stand out and be something that I could play in. Not necessarily run and gun but set offense. A winning tradition would also be nice."
Sam Webb: Yeah that's an interesting question; just thinking about it in the context of Michigan and Michigan State, I'm not asking you to pick between the two or anything but just in the broad sense, one program is already established; multiple Final Fours and titles and the other one is trying to build to that point. I'm not necessarily talking about those two schools in particular but is that kind of thing going to be a major factor, a program that is already established versus one that is looking to be built?
Matt Costello: "I would not say it is a major factor. But if the program has started its buildup, say as Michigan has with Coach Beilein and what he is doing. It's encouraging to be a part of that but no it is not a major factor if they have a set winning tradition."
Sam Webb: One last thing because I want to talk to your dad. I know that in seeing you in the games, it looked like Coach Jackson was your recruiter. He's gone from Michigan now. Did that effect things for you and who's recruiting you for Michigan now outside of course Coach Beilein.
Matt Costello: "No that did not affect the recruiting at all for Michigan. I do not know who is recruiting me for Michigan beside for Coach Beilein because Coach Jackson was the main guy. I've talked to Coach Meyer and my dad has talked to LaVall Jordan before last summer before last summer when we have just starting all this and he has just moved in for Michigan. So no it really does not affect it that much with Coach Jackson leaving."
Sam Webb: Okay outside of USC and Oakland other schools that either you're interested in or they showing interest in you.
Matt Costello: "Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana, Butler, that's pretty much it."
2012 PF Matt Costello talks U-M offer
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