Griffey Getting Plenty of Calls

Friday was the first day college coaches were allowed to call basketball prospects from the Class of 2009. Though he's already been dealing with recruiting for a couple years, Tyler Griffey has heard from several schools.

"Maybe close to 20," Griffey said on Tuesday. "I had a couple coaches calling today, (Saint Louis University coach Rick) Majerus being one of them. He called me on Friday and I didn't pick up. We've been communicating via voice mail."

A 6-foot-8, 220-pound power forward at Lafayette High in Wildwood, Mo., Griffey was in Portland over the weekend for an event with the adidas Nations program. Griffey was selected for the 2009 adidas U.S. National team, though he couldn't play this weekend because of a sprained ankle.

"We were all getting calls," Griffey said of his adidas teammates.

The first school to call Griffey was the University of Missouri.

The Lafayette big man received a text message from Tigers assistant coach Melvin Watkins, who asked Griffey if he was the first to "call."

Griffey, who received his first scholarship offer from Saint Louis U. before he even played a game in high school, knows that the recruiting intensity is going to increase.

"They can really start recruiting you after the 15th," he said. "It's a step up, another level. I came home late last night and my mom had put together a little notepad of all the coaches and their numbers and she had a stack of letters."

The four-star recruit already has eight scholarship offers: Missouri, Purdue, SLU, Illinois, Kansas, Southeast Missouri State, Miami-Florida and Virginia. The Hurricanes were the latest school to extend an offer.

But Griffey will certainly add to that number soon when he hits the July tournament circuit with the Gateway Basketball Club.

Griffey said he's wide open at this time in regards to his recruitment, but he's definitely noticed what Rick Majerus has been doing since taking over the Saint Louis U. program in late April.

The power forward said he's been on campus three or four times since then to meet with Majerus but also to play pick-up games against current Billikens players and also other St. Louis area players in open gyms.

The Lafayette High junior-to-be said Majerus told Griffey that he is the Billikens' top priority in the Class of 2009. Griffey has liked what he's seen and heard from the new SLU coach.

"I think they've taken it to the next level," he said. "Majerus has made that first impression and the impression that they wanted me. With (former coach Brad) Soderberg, I think he only came to one game my sophomore year. Majerus has said he's going to come to every tournament I'm in during July. He makes me feel a lot more comfortable that he's going to be around and I'm going to see him."

Griffey will also get to watch the results Majerus puts on the floor this winter.

"I'm looking forward to watching them this season," he said. "I think that will help me with my process. I think it's looking good for the Billikens."

Griffey was the Suburban West Conference player of the year this past season after averaging 15.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He's worked hard to improve his strength, considered his biggest area for improvement, and has versatility to play down on the blocks but also shoot the 3-pointer.

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