Hoops Recruiting: Brad Garrett Q&A

Brad Garrett's life has changed dramatically the last few weeks. The College of Southern Idaho guard was hoping to finish his redshirt freshman season strong to build for the future. What he did realize was the future was coming sooner and not later, and is being recruited by schools in nearly every major conference. GoPokes.com visited with Garrett on Wednesday evening about his recruitment.

Garrett played organized basketball this past season for the first time in four years, and was a major component in the College of Southern Idaho's success – the Golden Eagles finished fourth at the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament in Hutchinson, Kans., and completed the season with a 30-7 record.

Upon graduating from Pine View High School in St. George, Utah, the soon-to-be 22-year-old (his birthday is in May) went on a two-year Mormon mission trip in which he rarely touched a basketball. He then enrolled at Dixie State College in his hometown, but a shoulder injury sidelined for the entire year.

Garrett finally got back on the court during the 2006-07 season, and led CSI by scoring 15.8 points and was third on the team in rebounds with 5.3 per contest, all while playing just 22.7 minutes per game. Garrett was one of the best shooters in all of junior college basketball this past season, hitting 41.3 percent from behind the arc. He was 100-of-242 from three-point range, while going just 94-of-183 (51.4 percent) on two-point attempts. But his game is more than just shooting the basketball. Of his 185 rebounds, 83 of them came on the offensive end of the floor. He also was second on the team with 66 steals.

Garrett is being recruited by BYU, Oklahoma State, Illinois, Oregon, Georgia, and even got a telephone call from Kansas head coach Bill Self on Wednesday.

Has it been a relaxing few weeks since the end of the season, or has it be the exact opposite?
Garrett: It's kinda been hectic. There are a lot of options and there are a lot of great schools recruiting me right now.

Which schools are recruiting you the hardest?
Garrett: There's BYU, Oregon, Oklahoma State. I actually just got off the phone with Kansas. And Illinois. Georgia called me today and talked to me a little bit.

Have you been hearing from these schools all year or has it just been the last few weeks?
Garrett: I haven't actually. I (initially) told my coach (Barret Peery) that I was going to stay another year at CSI (College of Southern Idaho). I talked to my parents a little bit and they said I should probably see what's out there. I didn't realize how many people were interested until my coach started giving my phone number out, and I've been getting a lot of phone calls lately.

Why do you think you're getting all this attention now? Did you have a great national tournament?
Garrett: I really don't know. I had a pretty good season, and worked hard and tried to get better and now I guess it's paying off.

You spent two years on a Mormon mission right after high school, correct? Where did you spend your mission trip?
Garrett: I went to Wahaka, Mexico. It's in the southern part of Mexico, and we were there for two years. What we do is just go down and talk and preach about our church. We help other people out, and try to serve other people through service projects.

Did you play any basketball during those two years?
Garrett: I actually didn't. I got to play a lot of soccer, though. It was hard. It took me a while to get back in (basketball) shape, and get my rhythm back.

How many times did you touch a basketball during your mission trip?
Garrett: Well, I had my parents send me one, so I probably touched one every day while I was sitting in the house. But as far as actually playing, I probably played only two or three times.

Where did you spend your first year of junior college?
Garrett: At Dixie State (in St. George, Utah). I had shoulder surgery on my left shoulder and had to redshirt that year. It was the first day of practice actually, and I went up for a rebound and someone came over my back and pulled it and knocked it out of socket. I had surgery and sat out the year.

You transferred to the College of Southern Idaho as a redshirt freshman this season. Did you expect to have the impact you did this season?
Garrett: I really didn't think I would have the type of season I did, especially at the first of the year because I was struggling a little bit to get my legs back and my shooting rhythm back. I thought I would contribute and be able to help out the team, but not in the way like this.

Do you have any recruiting trips planned?
Garrett: I'm going to BYU tomorrow (Thursday, April 5). I'm either going to Illinois or Oregon, those are the ones my coach has talked to. I'm not sure of the dates on Illinois and Oregon. I think it's the week after I visit Oklahoma State (on April 13-15).

What interests you in BYU?
Garrett: First, my beliefs and my background. It's an LDS (Church of Latter Day Saints) school, so it would be nice to be around that and that type of culture. One of the assistant coaches (John Wardenburg) was my high school coach for two years. The program is getting a lot better and (BYU head coach) Dave Rose is a good coach, and doing a lot of good things there.

What interests you in Illinois?
Garrett: I've always watched them on TV and always rooted for them more than the other teams they played against. My coach has been telling me it's a big-time place and a nice place to play basketball. I want to go see what they have to offer.

What interests you in Oregon?
Garrett: They play in a great conference in the Pac-10. Actually a person I know, who played at the same high school (Pine View H.S. in St. George, Utah), played at Oregon and I got to watch him a little bit when he was there four or five years ago. I like their style of play, and I've watched them a little bit on TV. It's a great place to play basketball.

What interests you in Oklahoma State?
Garrett: I've got a coach who talks to me a lot about them. I watched them a lot on TV this year. The atmosphere at Oklahoma State is awesome. There are a lot of fans, there's a lot of support, and they've got a great coaching staff. I've been really impressed with the coaching staff.

How much of a factor will leaving that part of the United States factor into your decision?
Garrett: It might be a little bit but I've tried not to think about that too much. Most people thought I wouldn't go out of the state of Utah to play, but where I live is about eight hours from Twin Falls (where the College of Southern Idaho is located). It may be a little bit of a factor but I'm not going to base my decision just on that.

How would you describe yourself as a basketball player?
Garrett: I'm a shooting guard. I love to catch and shoot the ball. Also, I like to get to the rim. If someone comes out and tries to guard me I like to try to go by them and get to the rim. I like to be aggressive and play hard.

What are the strengths of your game?
Garrett: I've always been a shooter, and have always been able to shoot the ball. One thing that's helped me too is being able to get by defenders when they come out to guard me behind the three-point line – being able to put it on the floor and being able to make plays.

What areas of your game do you need to improve to play Division I basketball?
Garrett: I can always improve on my dribbling and I can always improve on my defense a little bit more. I need to get quicker.

What was your best game this past season?
Garrett: I scored 32 points against Colorado Northwestern, but I think probably one of my better games overall would have to be the championship game in the regional tournament against Snow College. I shot the ball really well, and I thought I played harder, as hard as I can. I didn't want to lose, and tried to leave it all on the floor.

How important are academics to you? What do you plan to study?
Garrett: Academics are really important, but I'm still not sure what I want to do. I haven't figured that part out yet.

As a redshirt freshman, you could still return to Southern Idaho for one more year. Are you definitely going to sign and play Division I basketball next season?
Garrett: I've told my coach that I'm going to a four-year school, and that I won't be back at CSI.

When did you finally make that decision?
Garrett: In the last week or so, since we returned from the (national) tournament. I talked to my parents a little bit, and I talked to coach (Peery) and he asked me what I was thinking. I told him that I thought I wanted to move on and I asked him to start giving my number out to coaches.

What was the latest school to contact you?
Garrett: Coach told me today that Kansas had called. That kinda took me by surprise. I just got off the phone with Bill Self about an hour ago.

Are you enjoying the recruiting process and talking to the different coaches?
Garrett: It's really nice. It's good to see all the hard work pay off.

Would you have guessed six months ago that you would be getting contacted by all of these schools, and they'd be asking you to come visit their campus?
Garrett: Probably not. I would have doubted it.

What do you think made the difference in you raising the level of your game this past season?
Garrett: Just having great coaches that are willing to help you out any time you needed them. Also, being surrounded by great players makes you better.

Where do the Oklahoma State coaches tell you that they see you fitting in?
Garrett: They talk about how they don't have anyone like me. They've got a lot of athletic guards, players who can get to the rim and then they can kick it out (to me).

Have you ever heard of Daniel Bobik?
Garrett: I know who he is.

Are you the same type of player that Bobik was at Oklahoma State?
Garrett: I think so. He could really shoot the ball, and it seemed like he was pretty athletic. That wasn't the only thing he could do. He could put it on the floor and do other things with it.

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