Seattle U signs PG Shaughnessy

Good recruiters are always thinking ahead. Even though Seattle U went into the 2014 spring signing period apparently set at point guard -- with rising senior Isiah Umipig returning as arguably the top player in the WAC, Hawaii transfer Manroop Clair set to become eligible, and early signee Jadon Cohee coming in from Canada -- the Redhawks continued to stockpile talent at the one.

Etowah High School (Woodstock, Ga.) star Jack Shaughnessy is headed to SU after signing a National Letter of Intent on April 16.

In his senior year, the 6-2, 180-pound Shaughnessy averaged 22 points, five rebounds and five assists. He earned all-regional honors and was named area Player of the Year by the Cherokee Tribune.

Woodstock is about 30 minutes outside of Atlanta, where SU head coach Cameron Dollar was raised, and where SU assistant Donald Dollar (Cameron's father) won three state championships as a high school coach. The elder Dollar first noticed Shaughnessy playing for the Atlanta All-Stars AAU squad.

About a week before he's scheduled to leave the Peach State for the Evergreen State and begin his college career, Shaughnessy talked about his game and why he chose to become a Redhawk:

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REDHAWK NATION: Describe yourself as a player.

JACK SHAUGHNESSY: I'm very vocal on the court; I've always been like that. I like to attack. I like to pull up from mid-range, but I can shoot from anywhere on the court. I take pride in my handle. I'm really confident that I can bring whatever it takes to win every single game. Whether we're up by 20 or down by 20, I'm going to play the same way.

Is there an NBA player you pattern your game after?

Goran Dragic from the Suns. As far as my pull-up game, I won't say I'm totally like him, but I try to emulate Stephen Curry. I can shoot off the dribble and create whenever I want.

How did Seattle U get involved in your recruitment process?

My first offers started coming from Southern Conference schools. I was really thinking about going to Appalachian State before Seattle came in. I was talking to Head Coach Dollar and Assistant Coach Dollar and I just liked how they approached things. Plus, Head Coach Dollar was a point guard; he won a national championship at UCLA. He wants to win, and all I want to do is win.

They'd been recruiting me since the beginning of the AAU circuit my junior summer (2013). I was about to commit to App State, but I was like, "I really like this place (SU). Let me take a visit before I do anything."

When did you go on that visit?

I took my official visit in November. When I got there, I kind of fell in love with the city. I liked the school. I loved the small classes; I think smaller classes give you a good opportunity to learn at a higher level. The campus is cool; it's like you're in the city, but you're not. I met with Deshaun Sunderhaus -- he's from Georgia -- and he had nothing but good things to say. I liked how the coaches and players work hard. If you're going to have success, it comes from hard work.

What other schools were recruiting you?

App State, Wofford, Georgia Southern, Citadel, Liberty, Lipscomb and North Florida.

What made you choose Seattle U?

At the end of the day, it was the best fit. At first, I was telling my family, "You know, it's really far from home. I won't be able to come home every weekend." But I had this weird gut feeling after I left. I told myself if Coach Dollar stays consistent after this visit, I think it's meant to happen. I think this is where I'm supposed to be.

What do you think you'll major in at SU?

I'm really not sure yet. Pre-law would be kind of cool, maybe Criminal Justice. I not sure at all, though.

Growing up in Georgia, how did you find your way to basketball in a state where football is so big?

Football and baseball are really big here. I played both of them growing up, but going into high school I just decided I wanted to stick with basketball. That's the sport I love.

What are some of your high school highlights that stand out to you?

My junior year we had a horrible year, then my senior year we started off 0-5 and it was like, "What is going on?" When we got our first win -- the game that got our whole season back on track -- I had 34 points and outdid a guy on the other team who was an all-division player.

Another game from this year: We were down by eight in the third quarter to our rival school, and at the beginning of the third quarter I scored eight in a row to tie it up. I finished with like 35 and we ended up winning. It was packed out; it was ridiculous. The crowd was going crazy.

My sophomore year, we were playing Wheeler (Ga.), which is like the big school down here. They've had a lot of NBA players. I hit a game-winning buzzer-beater against them and finished with like 20 against a guy went to Maryland. That game really gave me some confidence.

What role did AAU play in your growth as a player?

When I got picked up by the Atlanta All-Stars, that was a big deal for me because they're a big team around here. We finished 10th at the nationals in Orlando. We had like seven or eight Division-1 signees and I got to go against them every day at practice. It wasn't like that with my high school team. We had 6-foot-11 guys, so I had to work on finishing at the rim around big guys. That really helped me develop, playing against the best teams in the country and against the best competition in practice.

What do need to improve on as a player?

I always want to keep improving on everything. I want to keep getting stronger. I think I can play a little more above the rim, being aggressive going to the rim. I work on every aspect of my game every day, though. If you ever see me at practice, I guarantee you'll see me going full-out.

Have you gotten any indication from SU's coaches about what role you might be playing as a freshman?

I know Isiah is going to be a senior. All I've heard is that they want someone to come in and give him some rest and play solid backup minutes.

Do you see yourself vying for a starting job as a sophomore?

With the freshmen we have coming in, with the people around us, I feel like I can be fighting it out. I think the next four years can be outstanding.

What kind of style or system works best with your game?

I love to go, go, go. I know you have to slow it down sometimes, but that's my style. If you want me to get the ball to guys who can score, I can do that. And if you want me to score, I can do that.