Brad Buckman is torn.
Take the tradition of North Carolina and the fanatical fans that come along with Chapel Hill – or the chance to play college ball literally down the street from where he grew up and be a major cog in building the program at Texas?
The 6-9, 225-pound forward from Westlake High (Texas) won't lie. This isn't an easy choice, but it's one he relishes – especially since he didn't think he'd have this kind of option entering AAU ball this past summer.
"I've finally got it down to two," said Buckman, who emerged as a legitimate top 50 player in July after being a virtual unknown until that point. "But it's all coming at me at once. I wish everyone could go through the process, so they'd understand what it's like. We're down to crunch-time and it really gets on your nerves.
"But it's great to have the opportunity to choose between schools like this."
Buckman admits that he has always wanted to go to UT since he was a little kid. His father, a local golf pro, is very friendly with Longhorns coach Rick Barnes. Both of his parents are out of town this week at a golf tournament, so Buckman will sit down and hash things out upon their return.
He is trying to make sure the pressure he faces each and every day from those in Austin won't sway his thought-process, but he admits that it's been difficult to try and remain objective.
"I'm around it all the time, even from my dad's friends. I went out with my girlfriend the other day to eat and I had all these Texas guys coming up to me," added Buckman. "It's nice, but I'm going to make the best decision for me."
Buckman said he will probably make his decision next week, and he realizes it'll be gut-wrenching.
Playing time is available at both schools, but the biggest difference, according to Buckman, is the atmosphere.
"I went to Midnight Madness and there were more than 10,000 people watching the team play for just 15 minutes," he said. "It was crazy. Here everyone would be out playing golf. I'd like to be a part of that stuff."
"It would be real tough to say no to North Carolina," added Buckman. "You hardly ever hear of anyone turning them down. But you have to do what's in your heart."
"It kinda flip-flops every day or so, because I get influenced in different ways."