Brad Buckman is in a stalemate, that much is clear. The 6-9 Austin (TX) Westlake power forward is struggling to make a decision – which could come later, rather than sooner. InsideCarolina's David Thompson spoke with him Sunday night after Buckman returned from Dallas, where he spent the weekend for the Oklahoma-Texas football game.
Inside Carolina: How was it at the OU-Texas game?
Brad Buckman: It was nice. I was up there with my girlfriend's family. My brother Ben came in from Colorado, too, for the game.
IC: Since we first started covering your recruiting, many other media outlets have started covering you, too. What are your thoughts about all the people covering your recruitment and handling the pressure?
Buckman: The attention is fine and I enjoy it. It's going pretty good right now. I'm just thinking about if I should wait for the last signing period or [go ahead] with the early signing period. That's what I'm confused about right now.
IC: Coach Doherty was just in your home again this week. How did that go?
Buckman: It went good. It was kind of tough, though, because Coach Barnes and Doherty were at my practice at the same time. [Coach Doherty] came in when Coach Barnes was there. I was kind of flustered anyway with this recruiting so it made it harder on me but it wasn't bad. We had a team practice going. Then, Coach Doherty went out to eat with my parents and me afterward.
IC: What did you get to talk over with him?
Buckman: Just leaving Texas—leaving home, pretty much.
IC: Would you say that's the major issue for you?
Buckman: Yes sir.
IC: Midnight with the Heels is coming up this weekend. Have you thought about going to it?
Buckman: No, I doubt it.
IC: You also had a meeting with Coach McNeely this past week. In your meeting with Coach McNeely, what did you talk about?
Buckman: He was showing me the two colleges set up and had their points [in comparison] and I had to rate which one was better for me. Their competitive greatness, exposure, atmosphere, stuff like that. I think Carolina came out on top on that comparison. For Texas it was coaching.
IC: What advice did he give you?
Buckman: Listen to your heart. Don't listen to what anybody else says.
IC: What is in your heart right now?
Buckman: Right now, I'm really confused. I've really thought about staying home. I don't know. I've really thought about missing out on North Carolina. That's about it.
IC: Is either Texas or Carolina ahead right now?
Buckman: Probably, a little bit Texas maybe because I don't know if I want to leave home.
IC: Are you ready to make a decision?
Buckman: Not really. I really want to see the teams play. Actually, I really want to see Texas play.
IC: So the later signing period becomes a reality?
IC: Have you pretty much decided against deciding earlier at all?
Buckman: Not exactly, But if I were to think it over again and see the teams play, I'd like to do it later. I'm not ready right now to announce. I'll tell ya'll before I announce.
IC: So the timeframe is that maybe you'll announce early but maybe you'll wait to watch the teams?
Buckman: Yeah, that's possible.
IC: How will you make your decision? Will you have a press conference?
Buckman: I've always thought about doing a press conference but I don't know. I have my days. Some days I want to do a press conference. Some days I just want to do it by telephone calls.
InsideCarolina also spoke briefly with his father, Brent Buckman, on Sunday evening.
Inside Carolina: The media coverage surrounding Brad's recruitment is increasing greatly. How is Brad handling it?
Brent Buckman: It is, but he's handling it pretty good. He wanted to go to Dallas and go to the game this weekend to relax and get away from it. He's handling it real well I think.
IC: How are you able to encourage him as his father through this process?
Brent: Well, I just try to tell him how lucky he is to be in the position he's in. Certainly, for a 17-year-old, it's an interesting deal. It's interesting for me, but we're just thankful that he's in the position he's in and he's got two great schools to pick from.
IC: What do you see as the main factors in Brad's decision?
Brent: I think it depends if he wants to go away to school--number one. And number two, where he thinks that he can improve the most and take his game to the next level.
IC: Being a University of Texas grad, it must be an interesting situation for you. As his father and having won a national level there, would you like to see him go to your alma mater?
Brent: I would. I just tell him to pray about it and follow his heart. I try to stay out of his way--he's got enough to think about on his own.