Chriss Moving Up The Charts

Marquese Chriss is a high-riser, and in more ways than just on the basketball court. The 6-foot-8 power forward from Pleasant Grove High School in northern California has steadily been moving up recruiting boards and now resides at No. 47 overall nationally by spoke to Chriss Monday before he traveled to the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Virginia.

"It's a player development camp and you play a bunch of games and stuff," Chriss said about the camp, one where he'll be joined by fellow 2015 UW commits Dejounte Murray and David Crisp. "You just learn from people associated with the NBA, just training and how to get better physically and personality-wise, how to stay grounded in everything that you should be doing off the court of basketball, and then they help you on court."

It's been a busy time for Chriss, who has become a highly coveted player the past year. He was selected to attend the Team USA U18 Camp a little over a week ago, and even though he didn't make it through the first round of cuts a few days later Marquese took the news in stride and actually tried to get in a little bit of recruiting for UW while he was Colorado Springs.

"I talked to Allonzo Trier about it and I talked to Justin Simon - they were at the USA Camp," said Chriss. "I worked it. I talked to Juwan Morgan too on Twitter. He's going on a visit, I guess, later on in the year."

Chriss updated us on his busy schedule, one where his team - Team Superstar - has already been to big tournaments like the Pangos All-American Camp, the Jayhawk Invitational, UA Invitational, and others. "We went to a couple of places," he said. "We went to Kansas City and we went to Corona. We went to Houston. It was real good competition and everything. We played Diamond Stone's team (Young Legends) and we played some other people, they were pretty good. We've won a fair amount of games; we've played well together. It was good competition and good experience."

Chriss won't turn 17 until July, but is he surprised at all the attention he's receiving and how quickly his rise through the ranks has gone? "I'm not surprised, but I am proud of myself for how far I've come in a little bit of time playing basketball and everything that I'm involved in and doing," he said.

"I think I'm just getting progressively better at a time. I started lifting at my school and I started training with a personal trainer. I have a better work ethic now, I would say. It's hard sometimes having to get up and go, but it's beneficial and it will help me out in the long run. I enjoy it."

So what has improved the most? "My shooting and just all around emotionally - I'm just getting better at that stuff, still progressing and trying to control my emotions and the way I handle myself and how it affects my play," said Chriss. "I just think the way I'm progressing I have a bright future for myself. A lot of things I'm doing now are things I need to be doing to succeed."

Murray and Chriss roomed at Pangos, and Chriss gave us a quick scouting report on the Rainier Beach star and future Husky teammate. "He had talked to me before about committing and I was like, ‘Yeah, that would be a good thing,'" said Chriss of Murray, ranked No. 43 overall for 2015 by "I've known him for about a year now. We played against his team in San Francisco in a tournament. He's a real all-around player. He's really athletic, can shoot well. He's got a long body for a guard and he's really versatile for what he can do."

Though Crisp is committed to Washington, the Huskies continue to recruit one of Chriss's Team Superstar teammates - Noah Blackwell. "He actually has good size for a guard, he runs the point for our team," Chriss said of Blackwell. "He's probably 6-1. He's real built, wide-bodied. He's athletic, he can shoot the ball really well - he's probably the best shooter on our team, but he runs the point guard. He can dunk, he can do a lot of things…he can pass. He knows how to control the game but he doesn't always take control - that's what our coaches have really been trying to yell at him about…they've been telling him because how good he is, when he has the ball in his hands he can take over a game when he wants to. They want him to want to - that's the best thing for him and for our team."

Despite Chriss's meteoric rise through the ranks, recruiting flat-lined for him once he verbally committed to the Huskies. "I haven't talked to anyone lately," he said, matter-of-factly when asked if he was being recruited by any other schools.

Needless to say, Chriss's commitment to Washington is rock solid. He reaches out to the UW coaches on a regular basis.

"I talked to coach Romar yesterday and I talked to coach T.J. (Otzelberger) today."

According to Chriss, Romar talks a lot about basketball, but nearly as much about everything else that's going on in Marquese's busy life. After the NBPA camp Chriss will go home and finish up summer league with his school team and then finish out the summer with Team Superstar.

"He makes sure I'm grounded and that I focus on the things I have to focus on," said Chriss. "It's not like he puts basketball in front of everything."

Chriss's family is very excited to see Marquese in the purple and gold, but he's even more excited. "I'm more excited to go somewhere else to have new experiences and move on with my life," he said.

After officially visiting Washington in January, Chriss is eager to get back to the Emerald City as soon as possible. "I'm looking forward to being up there and representing for it - it's a big thing for me," he said. "I hope we do well in the future with the success that we've had recruiting-wise."

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