Hoops: Reynolds still considering six schools

McDonald's All-American Scottie Reynolds talks about his visit to Villanova, relationship with Jeff Capel and gives a breakdown of the final six schools on his list.

OUInsider.com went one-on-one with McDonald's All-American and former Sooner commit Scottie Reynolds to get the latest following his recent visit to Villanova.

JH: You just got back from Villanova so how was that visit for you?

SR: "It was a great visit for me, and one that I really loved. It is the type of visit that will allow me to really break things down for all the schools that I am looking at. I was able to find out everything that I needed to find out about Villanova, and I will be able to sit back and compare what I learned from Villanova to what I have learned about the other schools that I am considering. I am still considering all the schools, and since I grew up in Illinois I don't really have to visit there. Now I can get the overall picture with all the schools."

JH: So it was a good just from an informational standpoint?

SR: "It was a good visit in that now I can break it down from school to school."

JH: So you are saying that you will not take an official visit to Illinois?

SR: "I have never been to the University of Illinois, but I have lived there and it is Illini country. Everybody in that state just loves the Fighting Illini in Illinois. You can see how the people of the state embrace the team and everywhere you go it is just all orange."

JH: Can you break down your visit to Villanova for us?

SR: "Villanova is not as big as the other schools, but the team is very close-knit and together. The coaching staff is very energetic about not only the players' ability on the court, but about their academics. That is real good, because of the type of school that Villanova is because it is real hard to get into school there. It is a hard academic school."

JH: What kind of situation does Villanova have for you on the court?

SR: "They have three seniors, but only Mike Nardi is a guard. They have some talented players in Shane Clark, Donta Cunningham and Bial Benn, and they have a couple of young guards coming and Antonio Pena (6-6 PF) from Lincoln in New York. (Nova also has five others signed for their 2006 class including Malcolm Grant, who is the 26th ranked point guard in the country). They call Villanova guard country. That is what Villanova is known for."

JH: What did you learn about Coach Jay Wright at Villanova. Did you learn anything about how you might fit in with their style of play?

SR: "Coach Wright is a very intelligent coach who just loves the game. One thing about him is that he just wants ball players. That is just something that caught my eye. He just wants ball players and if he has ball players he is going to be successful. He has been successful since he has been at Villanova with his style and it is working for him."

JH: Give us a sentence or two about each school that you are still considering at this point?

SR: "It is Illinois, Michigan, OU, Wake Forest, LSU and Villanova. Those six are the schools still in the mix.

"Illinois fans embrace their basketball team with the best fan support in the country. Bruce Weber has shown with his record that he is a great coach. Michigan had four seniors starting this year and Coach (Tommy) Amaker is a guard coach. He can help me with those aspects of the game.

"With OU, it is the same thing because Coach (Jeff) Capel played the position and he can help me in that aspect from the transition of high school to college. OU is my first love, so that is a big plus. I love the campus at LSU and I love the area and the people there. The team at LSU is very close-knit.

"With Wake Forest, you have a great coach in Skip Prosser who is going to guarantee you one thing and that is a degree. He won't promise you anything. He has been successful with it and he has seen success with a great point guard in Chris Paul. That is a big plus.

"Villanova produces great guards and they have a great upside. They are going to continue what they started."

JH: As far as opportunities for you, which schools give you the best chance to play early?

SR: "I don't really want to say one stands out over the other, because I can see myself in each school's line-up. I keep picturing myself not just on the team, but in the atmosphere and everything. I am just constantly thinking and going over the matchups and all of that. I can't sit here and say which one if the best situation for me or the best opportunity for me to play. I just don't know that. Is that a big part of it? Yes sir, it is. I am not going to sit here and say it is not, but I keep putting myself in each programs line-up."

"I feel wherever I go out of those six schools, I will have a big impact. I may not be the best player on the team, but I am going to have a big impact."

JH: How much are you still talking to Coach Capel? And when is the last time you have talked with him?

SR: "I talked to Coach Capel on Sunday and we had a real good conversation. It was real, real good. We talked basketball, talked about life, talked about life after basketball. We just talked about everything. It was a real good conversation. This situation is tough on me, but it is also tough on him. I feel for him because he is in a tough situation. He is a new coach coming into a new environment and he had one of the best recruiting classes in OU history and it didn't work out for him. So people are saying that it is his fault, but in reality it has nothing to do with Coach Capel, at least from my end of things. Whether I go to OU or not, me and Coach Capel are going to be friends. We are going to respect each other regardless of my decision."

JH: That sounds like you have concluded that you are not going to go to OU?

SR: "No, not all. But I am just saying that we have developed the kind of relationship that will last beyond basketball."

JH: Does the fact that OU has received commitments from the two top juniors in Oklahoma, and that one of the players is ranked in the top 20 of the country and the other in the top 100, have an effect on your decision?

SR: "I knew about Blake (Griffin), but I really didn't know about the other one. From what I know they are two great commitments. You knew that was going to happen because one of Coach Capel's strengths is his ability to recruit. He is not going to tell you a lie, he is always going to shoot straight up. He will ask you if you want him to talk to you in the coaching Coach Capel or the basketball player Coach Capel. He will ask you that and then he will give you a straight-forward answer.

"I think a lot of people really respond to that. I think a lot of people really like that. I think a lot of people nowadays really understand that. As a player, you go through the recruiting process and there are some coaches out there that will just say anything, and what they say is not truthful. They aren't like Coach Capel. That is a real good strong-point for Coach Capel. I wish the best for Coach Capel and OU in everything that happens from this point forward. Even if I go there or if I don't, I don't wish anything bad on anybody. He is going to do a great job at OU and hopefully he is going to making it all the way to the top."

JH: Are you still open-minded or do you have it in your mind what you are going to do?

SR: "I don't know to be honest with you. Hopefully, I will have a little press conference next week but I don't know if I will do that for sure. I don't really want to say next week, but probably in the next two weeks I will have a decision. I really hope that everything dies down and I can enjoy my last month as a high school student, and don't have to worry about any business about where I am going."

JH: So as you and I are talking right now, you are saying that you don't have an idea where you are going?

SR: "I am still putting myself in each line-up, and I keep shuffling myself around. I don't know what is going to happen, but right now I don't have any favorites."

JH: So, point blank, as we talk you are still considering OU and you could still wind up in Norman.

SR: "Yes sir."


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories