2011 Big Man Trey McDonald with GBW: Part One

2011 Battle Creek Central big man Trey McDonald visited U-M in May and may be in line for an offer. GBW spoke to him and his father … here is Part One of the dad-interview.

Sam Webb: Give me an update. Run down the schools that Trey McDonald is really hearing a lot from?

Lee McDonald: "Wow, man, he is getting a lot of…wow, I mean do you want a partial list."

Sam Webb: Whatever you can come up with off the top of your head.

Lee McDonald: "He's got Dayton, Oakland, Iowa, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Wake Forrest, Miami, Penn State was in pretty heavy initially. I think they are sort of realizing that they are not going to be one of the ones. Wisconsin and of course Michigan and Michigan State."

Sam Webb: Who among those schools have offered Trey (McDonald) a scholarship?

Lee McDonald: "Oakland, Dayton, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Iowa, Miami, Arkansas (I did not mention them in the first group) have all made offers."

Sam Webb: I know Trey has turned a lot of heads recently. Carlton Brundidge has been talking a lot about him and is really impressed with his game. Have you noticed any major difference in Trey's game lately?

Lee McDonald: "Oh yeah, I think the end of his last high school season to right now, he is growing, literally…when you say a child is growing, it seems like they are growing every day. He is literally growing every day. The experience he is getting is making him better and better. He had a good spring with the Mustangs. He went out to LA with The Family and then once the Camp season opened in June he has really been playing well. He went out to West Virginia Elite Camp, came back from that and he attended team camps at both Dayton and Oakland and then he went to the Amare Stoudemire skills camp right before open this past weekend."

Sam Webb: How did he say things went for him down at Amare?

Lee McDonald: "Real good. I've heard feedback from some of the coaches that are recruiting him. The people that were there said that he really showed well. I can tell personally by the way he played at the Oakland team camp that it has been a good experience for him. He is playing with a lot more confidence. There is just an ease on the court. He is able to do what he wants to do. He looks like he has been playing with the top players and then when he comes to the team camp and he is playing everybody, it is just another level of confidence that I see."

Sam Webb: I've seen him play and then I've also seen him at a number of Michigan games on visits. About 6'10" is that about where he is right now?

Lee McDonald: "They measured him out at 6'9" at the Stoudemire. A legitimate 6'9" with a seven foot wing span. The thing is he is only 16, so he has got a few more growth spurts in him I'm imagining."

Sam Webb: So he is going to be a young senior then?

Lee McDonald: "Yeah. He's always been the youngest in his class. People told us that we should have held him back years ago, because most of his teammates have been held back or started school late so that they could get that extra year of growth or maturity."

Sam Webb: As far as Michigan is concerned, like I've said I've seen him at a number of Michigan games. I know he had a visit to Ann Arbor a few weeks back. How did that visit go and what did Michigan say to you guys about how you fit into their picture right now?

Lee McDonald: "The visit was good. I think he came away impressed with what the University has to offer. One of the assistant coaches, LaVall Jordan had recruited him at Iowa and Coach Alexander had been his main contact at Western (Michigan); he had had contact with him somewhat at Michigan, so he knew the two of them. It was a good visit. At the end of the visit, Coach Beilein said that they want to watch him through July and see where things stand at that point."

Sam Webb: So he has been with familiar with LaVall and Bacari, I'm curious of what your impressions are of them as the new guys.

Lee McDonald: "I think Bacari… there is a joke…they call him ‘the politician'. They are saying that in a positive way because he is on his game. He works well with people. He develops that camaraderie, likeability, but he also has a reputation as being a good developer of big men. He is just on top of his game. Of course, LaVall for his age to be where he was at Iowa following his career at Butler, I think they are two good additions to Michigan's staff."

Sam Webb: Getting back to Trey's recruitment; what are the things that you are stressing to him as the most significant factors in his recruitment as it plays out. What are the traits that you want in the school and then the coaches for him?

Lee McDonald: "The number one thing is winning. If you are going to be playing, it is always better to be winning. You are going to exert the same amount of energy and same sacrifices are going to take place, so you want to get wins for all that sacrifice. I'm talking strictly basketball now. In the basketball program you want a winning program, you want coaches that can develop your full potential whatever that may be. If that means you will one day be in the NBA or overseas or just a good solid college player you want that. As far as a school, you want a school that takes care of its own. One that has a good alumni base… an accomplished alumni base so that you can take that degree with confidence anywhere and know that you will be able to perform and do well."

Sam Webb: When you talk about winning, obviously Michigan is a program that in its building stage. Is that going to be a factor? Are you looking more favorably at programs that are established winners or would Trey be open to be part of a program that is trying to build?

Lee McDonald: "When you say build, yes. Because here is the reality, even if you look at it like a school like Michigan State that has been winning a lot lately, you can't do anything with those past records. So you got to go in there and make it happen with the group that you're with. If he has got a group of players that is with him that can win, that's what counts. It won't do any good to look at, okay they won and then everybody is gone now. It is who you got on the floor with you. Michigan has got a group of players on there that want to win and are willing to do what it takes to win. That's what we want…we want to be with a program that is going to win."

Sam Webb: We'll get into Michigan State here shortly after one more question at Michigan. One of the guys that I've been talking to a lot is Carlton Brundidge and that trip that they took out to LA really seemed to open Carlton's eyes up to what Trey is capable of. Is the feeling kind of mutual? Did they have that sort of on court vibe?

Lee McDonald: "Oh yeah, man, yeah. Carlton man, he goes after it. Trey and I were talking about that. I went out with him on that trip. I told him man, Carlton goes after it. He gets to the line like an NBA player. He is very aggressive offensively and he's got that fight in him. He is going to come at you. Trey liked that. Plus, it is just not on the court, he's a personable guy. He did a good job of helping Trey feel comfortable, he's going into a new team situation when he joined The Family. He did a good job of making him feel welcome and comfortable. He did a good job. The feeling is mutual."

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