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Oklahoma Sooners, Texas A&M Aggies top recruits go from friend to foes on Thursday's Sweet 16 game

Close friends Kameron McGusty and J.J. Caldwell will get a quick glance at their immediate futures

Kameron McGusty and J.J. Caldwell have known each other for years, teammates and friends since the fifth grade. They’ve always been close, capable of picking up the phone after weeks without talking and picking up right were they left off as if no time has passed.

They met up at an open gym in Houston on Monday while McGusty was home visiting on a break from Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, where he chose to attend his senior year after committing to Oklahoma last summer.

This week though, they’ll get a glimpse of their futures.

McGusty is the highest-rated recruit since 2009, and Caldwell is one of two four-star commits for the Texas A&M Aggies for the 2016 class.

Those two teams face off Thursday, but a bit of the future for each team met earlier in the week. There was a bit of trash talk involved.

“It’s not our time,” McGusty said. “It’s the two colleges that we are going to next year, but it’s not us in the game. We’ll just see how it plays out. I think OU is going to win. But we’ll see. . . . There would be way more trash talk if we were both playing in the game.”

Caldwell obviously had a different opinion on how the game would work out.

“We’ll probably talk a little bit of trash,” Caldwell said. “We’ll probably talk about who is good for Oklahoma and A&M. We both wanted to go to the same school, but it didn’t work out. He’s obviously going to do well and Oklahoma. . . . For my prediction to win, you know I have to go with A&M, but Oklahoma is a great team. They’re hard to guard.”

The two made up one of the best backcourts in the nation while playing for the Houston Defenders on the Under Armor circuit last season. McGusty led the league in points. Caldwell had more assists than any other player.

“We both feel like we’re both very underrated,” McGusty said. “We both have that feeling. . . . We always tell everybody, give us a couple years and they’ll see. They’ll see in a couple years what they were missing out on.”

The tandem has pushed each to be better on the court. Caldwell got the major conference offers first, and McGusty followed shortly there after once he figured out exactly what flaws he had to improve upon.

McGusty said that he thinks Caldwell is the best true point guard in the country. Caldwell said McGusty is the best player that he’s ever played with in his career.

They’ve done a lot of things together over the years, but Thursday will provide a first look at their immediate futures. Beyond that, they want their long-term futures to coincide as well.

“We really want to make it to the league,” Caldwell said. “Everybody knows that’s a hard thing to do. That takes a lot of work to get there. That’s one of the reasons we’re always sin the gym together. We always work out together. We want to make it together, and we want to do it the right way.”


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