Now that the Peach Jam has passed, teams are beginning to hand out offers to players who impressed them during the event and during the course of the AAU season. For 2016 Southwest Christian Academy (Ark.) three-star power forward Eric Curry, this week has been full of new offers and suitors after a stellar Peach Jam, in which he averaged 10.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
“I ran the floor pretty well, finished around the rim pretty well, rebounded great,” Curry said of his Peach Jam performance.
Arkansas, Iowa State, Minnesota and Auburn have all offered this week, and Vanderbilt and Alabama are showing interest in him after his big weekend. But one school that has been in pursuit of him long before his breakout is SMU. Curry can tell that he’s a top target for the Mustangs, and he’s formed a nice relationship with head coach Larry Brown and assistant K.T. Turner, both of whom came to Georgia for the Peach Jam.
“I hear from them (Brown and Turner) regularly; I’m texting with them most every day,” Curry said. “I feel like they want me pretty badly, and I feel like they’re two very cool type of coaches who want to help me get to the next level. I like SMU because not only can I got there and gain a lot of knowledge from basketball, but it’s also a good academic school.”
The two sides are definitely interested in each other, and that’s without Curry even visiting SMU, something he said he’d like to do. The lack of a visit hasn’t hurt SMU, since Curry hasn’t taken visits to any school recently. But he also doesn’t have a time set for a visit to Dallas.
“I haven’t visited, and I actually haven’t planned any either, but me and my mom were talking about it, and I said I want to do some in August or September,” Curry said.
Curry said he doesn’t yet know if those will be unofficial or official visits, and he hasn’t begun to think about narrowing his list down and picking his official visits. He’s been taking his time with recruiting and concentrating on the season, even amid the flurry of new offers and interest.
“I’m still open with it,” Curry said.
Since Curry goes to school in Arkansas and plays AAU for the Arkansas Wings, conventional thought would make the offer from the Razorbacks seem like a tough one to top. That’s not actually the case, mainly because in August 2014, Curry moved to Little Rock from Memphis. But to Curry, the phone call from head coach Mike Anderson that brought the good news was still a big deal.
“I’m not from Arkansas, I’m actually from Memphis,” Curry said. “But it was pretty big. People over there, they really take pride in their Arkansas basketball, and I’ve been hearing a lot from people congratulating me, so it’s a pretty big deal. I’m thankful for it.”
One person Curry certainly heard from was his AAU teammate and good friend, five-star guard Malik Monk, who holds Arkansas in extremely high regard. The ultra-talented Bentonville, Ark. native has been the top priority for Arkansas for a long time, and many expect him to sign there. But Monk does become a Razorback, Curry insists it won’t affect his own decision.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to be my decision, so that won’t play a part in it,” Curry said. “He’s a really good teammate, and me and him and close. But him going to a school, it won’t matter to me. It’s going to be my decision.”
Curry is still uncertain when he’ll trim his list and eventually make a decision, but he said he knows he will sign during the early signing period in November. After the summer camps and tournaments are over, he will think about recruiting more. In addition to the recent offers, the 6-foot-8, 210-pound Curry holds offers from VCU, Oklahoma State, Saint Louis and Western Kentucky.