Middleton Discusses Official Visit

When South Carolina sharpshooter Khris Middleton verbally committed to Coach Mark Turgeon and the Texas A&M staff in May, observers on the national scene knew very little about the lanky 6-foot-6, 195-pound prospect other than his deadly outside shot. After a very successful AAU circuit and dedicated offseason workouts, recruiting services now know why the Aggies jumped so quickly on the lefty.

Now 6-foot-7.5 and 210 pounds, the imposing wing took his official visit last weekend to see his home and his teammates for the next four years. He gave us a brief rundown on the trip.

"My host was B.J. Holmes. I got there with my parents on Friday and we toured the campus," Middleton said. "I got to watch the team practice, then we went to the football game. After that, I had time to hang out with the team. It was all good."

Middleton visited back in May prior to committing and he had a chance to play with the team in some pick-up games. After seeing them play again this weekend, what are his thoughts about team's capabilities for the upcoming season?

"They should have a very good team," Middleton said. "Josh Carter has really stepped up his game, and Donald (Sloan) looked great out there. D-Ro (Derrick Roland) has improved over the summer. They've all gotten better."

Speaking of getting better, Middleton has worked hard in the offseason to improve his overall game. In addition to growing over an inch and adding 15 pounds of bulk, the Charleston native has focused hard on expanding his game and his ball skills, shedding the label as a one-dimensional outside shooter.

"I've been working out with a trainer on improving my explosiveness and quickness on defense. Overall, I got stronger," Middleton said. "That's in addition to my normal basketball routine where I shoot about 200-300 shots a day. At a minimum, I do five sets of 20 on my three-point shot, and I do five sets of 20 on my shots off the dribble."

Some observers compare Middleton to the Aggies' Josh Carter with his long, lanky body and his propensity for the three-point shot. He believes that's a fair comparison, and he's flattered to be compared to one of college basketball's best shooters.

"Yeah, the guys say I'm a lot like Josh. I'd say I'm similar to him," Middleton said. "He's more experienced and can do more off the dribble than me now. He's a great college player. Hopefully, I'll get to his level soon."

While hanging out with the team and watching practice on his visit was enjoyable, Middleton said the highlight of the trip was experiencing the Texas A&M campus full of students. When he first visited in May, school was between sessions and he couldn't get a feel for the atmosphere.

"I loved it. The students were great and the people were very nice and friendly," Middleton said. "It's a great place for me and my parents really liked it. It's a college town and that's what I wanted. I didn't want to go to a school in a big city."

With Texas A&M a relative newcomer to the national basketball scene, what did Middleton's friends and family think of his decision to leave South Carolina to play his collegiate basketball in Texas?

"I've gotten very good feedback from people at home. They realize that Texas A&M is a good school, and they've turned the corner in basketball," Middleton said. "Most of the people that advised me said Coach Turgeon is an excellent basketball coach and that A&M is positioned to be a power school for years to come. With the university and the basketball program, it is a perfect fit for me."

Before the talented wing prospect moves down to College Station next summer, he has business to take care of in South Carolina.

"I'm focused on my senior season. We haven't won a state championship and that's our goal," Middleton said. "We've got a great team coming back and this is our opportunity to get it done."

Middleton hopes to make it back to College Station October 15 for Midnight Madness on Kyle Field and he would like to travel down for the Baylor game in the spring.

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