Five-Star Brandon McCoy Talks Cal Visit

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Five-star 2017 prospect Brandon McCoy was one of the standouts at the Prep2Prep All-Star Classic on Sunday, but he had some business to take care of while he was in Northern California ...

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- 2017 five-star center Brandon McCoy had a bit of a different look than normal on Sunday at the Prep2Prep All-Star Classic. Sporting a pair of everyday eye glasses and a drug store-bought pair of croakies, some of McCoy's shots were a bit off, but he still managed to go 9-for-16 from the floor, pull down a staggering 17 rebounds (the most in either the 2017 game or the 2018 game) with a team-best 20 points and three blocked shots.

"I'd left my contacts and my goggles back home," McCoy said. "Before the game, my mom, she's a life-saver. She and my uncle rushed to Walgreens to get me these bands so I could play, because yesterday, I was practicing in my glasses, and they kept falling off."

Before he hit the court at Las Positas College, though, McCoy -- up north from his home of San Diego -- paid a visit to one of his most ardent suitors: California.

"I just went on an unofficial today, and it was a very beautiful campus," McCoy said. "They showed me everything that they have -- the courts, the facilities, the athletics, the education, everything. The coaches were up-front with me: If you don't want to get pushed, if you don't want to get better, this is not the right place for you. You won't have anyone kissing your butt here, because we're going to tell you the real. That's what I respect about them. Some of the coaches there are from my hometown, so that's special."

That would be Tracy Webster, who hails from Harvey, Ill., while McCoy himself is from Chicago, only moving to California when he was 14. When he moved out West, McCoy dropped one sport and picked up another -- giving up a nascent Silver Gloves boxing career (he was 3-0 in the ring) to pick up a basketball.

"I just started playing basketball when I was 14," says the 7-foot rising junior. "I played it on the playground, but nothing serious. I boxed for five years."

Back then, McCoy didn't quite have the reach advantge he does now -- he's grew 11 inches in three years. 

Now, he's one of the top big men in 2017, and that means that the Bears -- who will likely be in need of a big man by 2018, when Ivan RabbKingsley Okoroh and Kameron Rooks will be gone -- see him a a priority.

"We went around the campus, saw the library -- they have the second-largest library in the nation -- and we saw the facilities, where they players live and everything," McCoy said. "It was just a beautiful campus to be on.", McCoy said that the Bears, Arizona, Kansas, UCLA and Michigan State were the five teams talking with him the most, but he also just scored an offer from Kentucky, four days ago.

"I spoke to them one time, a week ago, so I don't know what's going to happen, if they're going to recruit me hard or not, if I'm the type of player that they want," McCoy said. "They know how to develop their players, their big man was the No. 1 pick, so they're just a smart program. They know how to develop the whole team. They were undefeated last year, but unfortunately lost [in the Final Four] to Wisconsin. They're just a winning program."

History means a lot to McCoy, and that's what he says marks each of those previous five schools as possible landing destinations for him.

"Kansas has had Paul Pierce, NBA greats, and Arizona, as well, and Cal, UCLA, Michigan State, great programs; UCLA had Kareem Abdul Jabar -- the all-time leading scorer in the NBA," McCoy said. "They're all winning programs, very successful coaches who will most likely go to the Hall of Fame when they retire. Basically, anywhere I choose, I'll be in good hands."

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