Basketball recruiting is different from football recruiting in a lot of ways. One noticeable trait is in football, depth is a necessity.
In basketball? It can almost be a detriment. With so few spots out there, having too much of a good thing can correlate into missing out.
That’s not the case yet for Oklahoma, but the Sooners could be on the verge of that at point guard despite the departure of Darrion Strong-Moore.
OU will have sophomore Jordan Shepherd back and the arrival of Norman (Okla.) North five-star point guard Trae Young for the 2017-18 season.
Young, ranked No. 21 in the Scout 100, separated himself as the best player in the state the last couple of years. Who’s going to take that mantle for the 2018 class?
Look no further than Midwest City’s Keyshawn Embery. As a junior, Embery averaged more than 28 points in helping lead the Bombers to the state tournament.
On their way to state, they had to take out Young’s Timberwolves, a game Sooners Illustrated is not afraid to say was the best OKPreps basketball game viewed this season.
“It’s always going to be competitive like that,” Embery said. “I knew we would be going head-to-head like that. I did a wonderful job. He did a wonderful job. I thought we both did great.”
Embery had been receiving some strong interest from the Sooners up until Young’s commitment. OU coaches watch Embery play a couple of times, and Embery was in Norman for at least Bedlam and is familiar with the program.
The feeling was that maybe after Young decided to pledge, there would be no room for Embery or that Embery would move on from the Sooners.
He’s still waiting for an offer from OU so the former could still be in play. The latter? Nope, that one isn’t ringing true.
“That doesn’t take them out of the picture at all,” Embery said. “I don’t have a clue right now what I’m going to do. OU is a great program. I have a lot of respect for Lon Kruger and the Sooners.”
Embery picked up an offer from Creighton following the season, and Oklahoma State is another major school that offered him, while Nebraska has offered and appears to be making him a top priority. With Mike Boynton becoming head coach, the safe assumption would be Embery’s offer is safe but time will tell on that one.
Embery’s stock is about to take off heading into the spring and summer basketball circuit. The thought of playing with Young at the next level, however, has certainly gotten his attention.
“It would be great to play with Trae, play behind him, whatever it would be,” Embery said. “It would be a great opportunity, no matter how things went.”
Embery is adamant that right now he truly has no clue about recruiting. No list of favorites, no visits setup at the moment, just enjoying the process.