Every coach tells every recruiting prospect they are a priority.
But after arranging to have his entire staff front and center for T.J. Power’s game on Wednesday at the Peach Jam, IU basketball coach Mike Woodson could say it with a straight face.
Again on Thursday IU had two coaches in North Augusta watching Power’s BABC squad, and in between those two contests, the 6-foot-8 Massachusetts forward had a call with the Indiana head coach.
What Power saw with four coaches in attendance for one of his games, Woodson backed up with words.
“I talked to Coach Woodson today, and he preaches like I’m a top priority for them and they are going to be glued to me for the rest of the summer,” Power told The Daily Hoosier on Thursday at the Peach Jam.
Investing heavily in Power’s recruitment isn’t without risk.
Things have gotten much more complicated in recent weeks, with power programs like Duke, North Carolina, UCLA and Kansas entering the mix for him, along with schools involved for a long time like Virginia, Iowa, Providence, Notre Dame and Boston College.
“It’s been super exciting for me and my family,” Power said of the flurry of high profile offers in his final summer of travel basketball. “I’ve worked really hard to be in this position. So it’s kind of cool to see it finish the way it has. I’ve just got to continue and play well and work on my game, and then after this week is over, then step back and make some decisions and look at stuff hard. But it’s been really cool.”
With the excitement of a seemingly never-ending wave of offers comes a very active phone, and more and more demands on Power’s already limited time.
It was already about time to start narrowing things down, but now it has become more of a necessity.
“It gets overwhelming, so at some point you’ve to start thinning stuff out and then start looking at some schools that you really want to go visit and prioritize,” Power said. “I’m more focused on these (Peach Jam) games right now, but right when I get back I’m going to start talking to schools and setting up visits.”
While Power has plenty of options, his current thinking is that he may not take his full allotment of five senior year official visits. Instead the plan is to try and distill things down further to just the schools where he can genuinely see himself playing at the next level. He’ll probably set up those visits in the next month to free himself up to get back to work on his game in the fall.
“Right now my mind is at like three or four visits probably,” Power said. “The visits are pretty time consuming, and I’m going to use the fall to really get better,” he said.
Power said academics, style of play, relationship with the coach and player development are some of the most important factors as he evaluates his options.
Of course Indiana fans want to know if Woodson can secure one of those precious few visits.
Power doesn’t have an answer on that yet, but he will say that Indiana’s heavy presence at his games and overall investment in his recruitment matters, and won’t be forgotten.
“Having a whole staff here is pretty rare, so I definitely feel the love from them, and when I go back and make decisions, I’ll keep that in mind,” Power said.
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