The atmosphere in New Jersey about basketball is really crazy and with basketball season right around the corner, when I was sitting there with all the practices still to come and all the practices we were missing with the power out and the game schedule this season, for me, it was just, I'm just going to take a look at these colleges because that's all I really had to do in my free time.
Plus, with the power out, we couldn't even get out of my neighborhood with all the trees down, so I just did a lot of looking and talking with my parents and I felt like I could my decision quicker, rather than taking longer.
How long had you been evaluating schools when you started getting serious about setting a decision date?
Karl Towns: I had been thinking hard for about three days about the schools when I decided to set a decision date. I really hadn't had much time before that to really think about the schools before the power went out.
So what made you decide on the December 4th date?
It's just the most convenient day for everybody at my school.
You are choosing to make your announcement on TV and streaming internet, was there a reason for that method?
It was just an idea that I thought was really nice because it would give my school some positive exposure. That was the main reason for me, it didn't have anything to do with the basketball decision, it had everything to do with just helping St Joe's, gives them a chance to maybe enroll some more students who maybe never heard of St Joe's before and it also gives the student body a bigger sense of pride instead of it just being about Karl's making a decision, it gives them all a sense of pride knowing that it's for St Joe's.
Do you have a better idea about where you want to go at this point?
I'm probably going to make my decision December 4th at 8:30 in the morning. I'm not even close to being able to making a decision right now, and I think I'll be like LeBron with his decision in that I'll make my decision in the morning and make my announcement at 10 AM and say where I'm going to go.
A lot of the speculation about your decision date is that you already have a specific school in mind…
It's just rumors. If it doesn't come out my mouth, then it's still just rumors. So right now, for me, I'm just so open, it's pretty funny when I hear the rumors. I haven't made any decision. My AD comes in and says he hears that I'm going here or going there or going somewhere else. I'm saying if I'm going there, why am I wearing an NC State hat? They are just rumors until December 4th at 10AM, know one really knows until December 4th when I make my decision.
It's interesting you mention the wearing of a college team's apparel--that is oftentimes the source of much discussion amongst fans in the week or weeks leading up to a player decision.
The only thing that it really means, for me, is that I like the team's colors. That doesn't mean anything related to my decision. On December 4th I'm going to make my college decision for where I want to take my future to, but I do understand that it's a big deal for fans what players wear when it comes to collegiate apparel, for me I just wear it and its not like I haven't told people that I like these schools that I wear the gear from.
Ok, going back to your evaluation weeks, your dad mentioned you were reviewing videos and materials on your schools, where those videos and materials provided by the programs recruiting you?
There's a lot of things on TV and it's very easy to go on the college websites and look at what the colleges say about themselves on their websites. I was fortunate enough when we had no power that there was a charging station where I could plug my iPhone in, so I just used my iPhone as my search tool for the internet and I was able to get a nice feel for each school at the school websites.
What did you see on those websites that helped you evaluate the programs?
The graduation rates, how the school is setup, what's the most popular major, and those kinds of things. The basketball stuff comes in later, so let's look at the school as a whole is what we talked about. When you look at the school as a whole, you see it's not just about the basketball, it's also how what they have for my life, and that's where we took it from.
So is this decision about more than just basketball for you?
Yes. The thing with basketball, its such a great sport, but it's not a longevity type sport. After you play, you are left to the wolves, so getting a degree really extends what you can do, both within basketball and also outside of it.
How much did what the coaches say to you when you were on your campus visits play into your 2 week evaluation period?
It actually was very little for me. It's just the way you naturally feel about schools and then you go deeper into the schools and learn the ins and outs of the schools. Sitting in the office isn't going to get you the ins and outs of how the school works, and coaches can say what they want to in their offices, but statistics don't lie, so I took a look at those to see what's really going on. If you like that school if you have a natural fit for you, then they are on the list.
How much consideration do you give to past players in programs that seem to be similar to you?
It is a little bit that helps you know if the coaches have proven to help kids that have the same attributes as I do. For instance, Coach K had Christian Laettner and Grant Hill, and he's shown that he has a proven track record helping people with my attributes. Coach Cal, Coach Izzo with Draymond Green, they have a track record of working with guys like me. However, a lot of that is the past and things could change in the future, so a lot of my decision is based on what could happen in the future with these programs.
Your dad mentioned you looked into recruiting situations at each schools during the 2 weeks, did you get a lot of good information about what's happening with the schools you are considering and who they might get?
I wasn't too focused on what's going on with that in the 2013 or 2014 class because, really, I'm making my decision based on what I think is the best fit for me and where I fit in well. It's great, I wish all the guys the best in whatever their decisions are, but really, this decision is about what's best for myself and my family.
So did you have any conversations with any other players about where they are at with their process?
No, not at all. That didn't happen, it's just if I had a natural feeling about a school, then I put them on the list, it was really about seeing if I naturally fit in at the school, that was what I gave really high consideration to.
You've mentioned "natural fit or feeling" several times now, can you explain what that means to you?
The thing about having that is that you feel yourself being able to fit in there and it just comes to you, it's a sign of approval that your soul really gives you. You always keep a list and you make sure you feel really good about those schools and I will make a decision on that on December 4th.
You've mentioned before about wanting to play on a "well constructed" team, how does that play in for you since you're deciding so early?
For me, like I said before, I'm still on a well constructed team because we all go to college to win a national championship. I'm going to go to the school that I feel is the most well rounded school for me personally and also the school that has the best chance to win the coveted prize, which is a national championship. Me picking early because I felt it was the right time to do. Maybe hopefully once I pick a school we can have other guys join me and become even more of a well constructed team. I'm just picking early because of personal preference. I didn't do this to be a recruiting magnet, just felt like it was the right time.
Are you thinking about re-classifying to either 2013 or 2014?
No, I can't confirm that that is correct. That's something that will stay a rumor, if I end up making the decision to re-classify then it won't be a rumor, but right now, I don't see that happening.
Your dad mentioned that part of the "process" before December 4th could mean that more information could be coming out, can you elaborate on that if there is anything else?
I really can't say because to be honest, because I'm not even sure myself. It's really something that I just can't say, I really can't.
Do you feel like you have unanswered questions about the schools you are deciding between?
You know, no. If I ever had questions, I got the answers I needed and I feel pretty confident I have what I need.
Your dad mentioned the relationship with Coach Orlando Antigua and you and your family, can you share what the relationship is like and how much it bears on your decision?
I can honestly say it's a strict coach-player-family relationship. He helped me with basketball stuff when I was at Kentucky. To me, he's just Coach O. There's nothing other than it being a coach relationship with a player.
Are you closer with him than other coach?
No, I don't feel we're the closest, it's just a coach player bond we have. We focused on making sure we could practice together when I was playing for the Dominican team.
Has there been anybody outside your parents that you've been receiving counsel from related to your decision?
No, not at all. It's just been my family, I've kept a small circle, and there's certain things I don't ask them or tell them about. They are just there if I ever need help or have a question about anything. They have left the decision to me, they'll be surprised too when I go make my decision because they just support me.
There's been a lot of conjecture about where Duke potentially stands in your recruitment now that a decision date is set. Can you clarify your thoughts there?
No, come on, it's Duke. It's Coach K. There's absolutely no way you can take them off, right now. They have what I'm looking for. It's a great education, great basketball, it's one of the best schools in the world. They are like number six in education, so Duke is a very serious contender. They've always been seriously considered by me and I was offered by them. They've always been a serious contender for me. Duke's a special atmosphere and place, and you can never look away from Coach K, he's the best coach in America.
How much do your parents' desires weight in for you?
For me, my family has given me the freedom card, and it's really about what my decision is going to be and they will support me no matter what. My decision is a bit different situation because I have so much freedom. I think my family will be behind me any way they can. The biggest thing for me is they are behind me and will support me.
Your dad mentioned several days ago that you might be coming to them soon with potentially a better idea about where you might be going, do you think you have a better idea now than you did several days ago?
Actually no, I don't. I'm still pretty flustered in the idea, and I'm trying to make sure I pick the right school because I'm not even close to being at the right stage to have that decision.
What is weighing on you with this?
It's so many great schools that I have on my list, and you gotta dwindle the list at some point. It's just not as easy as putting them on a piece of paper and cross them off. It's just not as easy as people think, because you have to make sure the decision is final and right.
Do you think you will talk with any coaches between now and decision day?
No, I don't think so. The best thing is that everybody finds out together, if I talked with the coaches right before 830 when I'm making my decision, it'll just be too hard to call everybody since I'm making the announcement at 10, everyone will find out at the same time.