Corey Kispert started an important recruiting week with a flight to Chicago.
Heading to the Midwest signaled the start of Kispert’s first official visit. Notre Dame hosted the four-star small forward from Seattle on Monday and Tuesday. Kispert set out to see if the things he’d heard in advance and watched on television matched up in person.
Turns out they did, including an extended set of pickup games with the current set of players. Kispert found the on-court portion of the visit comfortable.
“It’s always interesting when you see guys on TV playing and then go play with them,” Kispert said. “A lot of the games really, really matched up with what I’d seen. There was a little bit of a surprise. Zach Auguste has a jumper. He’s been working on that. He stepped out and hit a couple threes. That was interesting and not what I was expecting. But those guys are great to play with. I really enjoyed it.”
Kispert soaked in more than just basketball during his first trip to South Bend.
Along the way he met with a professor in the business school. Kispert also hung out with Steve Vasturia and Matt Farrell away from the basketball facilities and coaching staff. Touring campus also shed light on what Kispert could expect.
“I thought it was interesting how small the campus felt,” Kispert said. “I was expecting it to be a big, big major school — walk 20 minutes to get to class. Whether it was big or not, it felt relatively small, which is kinda nice for me. I like a smaller campus feel. That was really positive as well. Talking with all the players and stuff, they had really good things to say about the classes that they go to. I got to sit in on a class with a couple of the guys. I learned some stuff in it. It was really interesting to see a regular class.
“They said no matter how good a student you are, you’re gonna have challenges and it’s not for the faint of heart, which I like. I want an academic challenge and academic success is important to me. It was good to hear that.”
Head coach Mike Brey also checked in with some one-on-one conversation along the way. Brey compared the 6-foot-6 wing to Vasturia and Pat Connaughton, now a rookie with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Brey has been gathering intel on Kispert and feels the program could be a strong match.
“Kind of a hybrid of both,” Kispert said. “I can shoot like both of them can. Both of them are really good shooters and remarkable athletes. Steve has a great hesitation move that I bit on a couple times. He has really enjoyed and done really well coaching guys like me. He can tell from what he’s seen on my tapes and talking to people that I’m gonna work hard. I’m gonna be really committed and dedicated and tough to handle on offense and on defense.
“He said it’d be a pleasure to coach me and it was really good to hear those words come out of his mouth directly.”
Kispert went straight from Notre Dame to Virginia for a second official visit of the week. Virginia has yet to offer a scholarship. Gonzaga will play host April 26-28. Those programs round out the top three, but Kispert doesn’t necessarily see a quick decision coming.
“I’m a processor,” he said. “I need time to think and time to reflect. I think one of the biggest enemies in this decision right now is impulse. If I head back to Seattle and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to go here’ after I just come back from a visit, I think that’s a bad sign. You need to let your emotions calm down and make an informed decision. I don’t expect it to be that quick at all.”