Hoops Recruiting: John Wall Makes Trip To OSU

John Wall is going to have his choice of where he plays his college basketball. The 6-foot-3 point guard, ranked as the 12th best player in the Class of 2009, made an unofficial visit to Oklahoma State on Monday. We caught up with Wall early Tuesday afternoon as he was sitting in the Oklahoma City airport waiting to catch his flight back home to Raleigh, N.C.

Where are you right now?
Wall: I'm sitting here in the airport getting ready to leave in about 30 minutes.

Do you have a few minutes to visit while waiting to board the plane?
Wall: Yes, sir.

When did you arrive in Oklahoma?
Wall: I flew out here Sunday.

Your first stop was at the University of Oklahoma, correct?
Wall: Yes, sir.

What did you do at OU? How long was your visit there?
Wall: I was there for about 30 or 45 minutes. I met the coaches and talked to the players. I got a chance to see the practice gym and the arena they play in.

Then what did you do?
Wall: I then went to Oklahoma State. I got there around 6 or 7 (Sunday night). The team was going to eat so I went to the gym to talk to the coaches.

How did you spend your Monday in Stillwater?
Wall: I went and worked out in the morning, and then I watched the team during shootaround.

Did you spend any time with anyone other than the coaches and players at Oklahoma State?
Wall: I got a chance to meet the two top academic people, and then I got to meet a lot of the players. I hung out a lot with Marshall Moses. He's a good friend. I talked to some of the players and got to meet the coaches. It was a good time. I had a fun time out here. And I got to watch a good basketball game.

What did you think of Monday night's game between the Cowboys and Longhorns?
Wall: I thought it was a good game. They had some key turnovers and made some mistakes at the end with the shot-clock violation, but it was a good game. I think they played hard.

Growing up in ACC country, how would you compare the atmosphere Monday night inside Gallagher-Iba Arena to what you've witnessed at Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State?
Wall: It was very similar. I was a little surprised that it was that loud. It seemed just like at Duke or North Carolina and other places in the ACC ... it was loud.

That surprised you?
Wall: Yeah, it did. It was a good game and the crowd got into it. It was a lot louder than I expected it to be.

Do your perception about Oklahoma State or the basketball program change from your visit? Did you learn something that maybe you didn't realize before?
Wall: It's a great school. They've got great coaches. I think I learned some things I didn't know before about how the coaches treat the players, how the players feel about school and the coaches ... stuff like that.

Is Marshall Moses happy at Oklahoma State? He didn't play last night. Is he happy with his first year as a Cowboy?
Wall: Yeah, he's pretty good with things. He's just going through a learning process and learning that he's got to go hard in practice every day and not take a day off. He's just going through a learning experience that most freshmen go through when they get to college.

Where do things stand now in the recruiting process?
Wall: The honest truth is I'm just listening to everybody, and I'm still wide open. I'm just trying to visit schools to see what I can at each school.

Having grown up in North Carolina and around ACC basketball, do those schools have an advantage?
Wall: North Carolina, N-State, Duke and those schools are all interested and I'm interested in them. But I wouldn't mind going far away to go to school.

Had you ever been to Oklahoma before?
Wall: No, this was my first time. But I had a really good time.

What schools are recruiting you the most at this time?
Wall: It's about the same from all of them. I'm hearing from everyone about the same.

Are you enjoying the recruiting process?
Wall: Yes, I'm enjoying it. I get to go to some schools and meet the players and coaches, and watching some good basketball games.

Do you think it's going to eventually get old and wear on you?
Wall: I don't even think about that because a couple of years ago I wasn't getting any attention and no one was recruiting me, and I always wanted it. So I'm planning on enjoying it.

How is your team – the Word of God Christian Academy – doing this season? How were you doing prior to the injury?
Wall: My team is doing good. We're undefeated (at 18-0) and ranked 14th in the country in USA Today (and 22nd in ESPN's Elite 25). I'm averaging 15 points and 9 assists.

You haven't played in a few weeks because of an injury. What happened?
Wall: I have a chipped bone in my thumb.

When did the injury occur?
Wall: A week and a half ago, maybe two weeks ago.

How soon to you expect to be back on the court?
Wall: I find out Friday morning when I go to the doctor.

You sat beside Daniel Orton at last night's game. Did you get a chance to visit with him?
Wall: I got to talk to him a little bit and asked him what tournament's he's going to this summer to see if we'll be playing against each other.

He's been a person who has been around the Oklahoma State program for many years since his brother, Terrence Crawford, was once a Cowboy. Did he give you any insight into the program?
Wall: No, we really didn't talk about that. But from what I heard from the players, coaches and fans is that it's a good school. Marshall also had good things to say about it.

What does Marshall see for himself in the next few years as a Cowboy?
Wall: He's very excited. He's learning a lot this year about having to go hard in practice every day in a college workout. I think next year that Marshall is going to be one of the best players in the Big 12.

How much of an influence will your friendship with Marshall have on where you decide to play in college?
Wall: It depends. I'm just going to pick the schools that I want to go to (on official visits) first, but that would add a little more to it. I like playing with Marshall. He's a good player, and he can help me out because he's a big man. Just playing pickup (games) with Marshall has helped me out so much because he's always pushing me to get better.

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