Things appear to be trending towards a decision.
The top five schools have been named. The visits are complete. A high school season is approaching, and the recruiting dead period was just extended to January 1.
For class of 2021 top-40 forward Trey Kaufman, there likely isn’t much more to do at this point but think.
A 4.0 student, Kaufman can think with the best of them. And the Silver Creek High School product has been doing that for a long time — longer than he ever intended.
“With recruiting I think a lot of people think you just go to your favorite school, but for me that’s not really it. It’s more of a longer process,” Kaufman said to Wyatt Williams during a radio interview on 98.5 WJHI on Wednesday.
But don’t confuse the longer process with something that Kaufman is necessarily enjoying a great deal. A self-proclaimed introvert, Kaufman isn’t looking for attention or hype. The biggest decision that he has faced to this point in his young life, he just wants to make a good choice.
“It’s been tough. It has extended my recruiting back more than I’ve wanted,” Kaufman said of the role of the pandemic in his recruitment. “I’m not a big person that likes recruiting, just in general. It’s just not really my personality, but I do think it’s one of the biggest decisions that I will make, and I definitely want to make sure it is the right one.”
By now you likely know that the 6-foot-9 Kaufman has narrowed his recruitment down to Indiana, Indiana State, North Carolina, Purdue and Virginia.
What is standing out about the Hoosiers right now?
“Indiana, I’ve known them for the longest,” Kaufman said. “Coach O. (IU assistant Tom Ostrom) calls me every other day. I just have an ongoing relationship with their players, I’ve probably been to their arena the most, and it’s just so close to home.
“Their (IU’s) players, I’ve played with all of them, either with them or against them. Played against Khristian (Lander) since I can remember, and then at Purdue camp I played on the same team as him and we’ve kind of got that connection there.
“Obviously Logan (Duncomb), AAU. Leal (Anthony), I’m still mad at him for hitting that shot. Galloway I beat in the (2019) state championship.”
Realistically, Kaufman’s recruitment appears to be down to IU, Virginia and Purdue.
He noted that Purdue’s system might be the best fit, and he likes how Virginia’s D’Andre Hunter thrived in that program and then made his way to the NBA.
With not much more information that can be gleaned at this point, when might Kaufman decide?
“I really don’t know,” he said. “I wish I could tell you exactly when. I might not make a top three or top two, I might just go from here. I will set a date, but it will definitely be a feeling thing.”
WHY NOT LOUISVILLE?
Kaufman has spoken often about the appeal of staying close to home, and no high major program is closer than Louisville.
The University of Louisville campus is around 15 miles from Kaufman’s Sellersburg, Ind. home. And if you ask folks that know him, it sounds like Kaufman might have grown up as a fan of the Cardinals.
So why didn’t they make his top five?
“Not knowing what sanctions they are going to get, and not knowing if they are going to be participating in the NCAA Tournament, that’s just kind of hard for me to bypass,” Kaufman said. “It’s a great coaching staff, great players there, but that’s a big deal for me.”
Kaufman cited other concerns in a separate interview with WAVE 3 News.
“I don’t think I was really a priority to them and their staff. Great team, I just don’t think the culture and we kinda fit,” Kaufman said.
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