EMERSON, Ga. — The Daily Hoosier caught up with priority class of 2024 target Jaeden Mustaf on Saturday morning at the LakePoint Champions Center.
According to the On3 Consensus, Mustaf is a 4-star prospect, the No. 43 overall player in the 2024 class, and the No. 3 combo guard.
Mustaf’s Q&A with the media at the opening weekend of the Nike EYBL in Georgia follows.
Are you planning to take a visit to Indiana?
Mustaf — Yes, we talked about that yesterday (with Indiana), we are trying to do it the second week of June. Official visit.
What have you been hearing from IU lately?
Mustaf — We constantly talk, all of the time. They think I can came in and be for them like Jalen Hood-Schifino was this year. I think our games are pretty similar. They constantly talk to me, so it’s important.
How intriguing is that to you to hear comparisons to Hood-Schifino?
Mustaf — Obviously it’s huge, because he’s first round, maybe lottery, and that’s my ultimate goal to get to the NBA. And the way he led the team this year as a freshman and played. We have a lot of the same style, so it’s intriguing.
Hood-Schifino played a lot off ball screens this year, do you think that’s a strength of your game?
Mustaf — Yeah, I think it is.
How is your game coming along as a primary ball handler?
Mustaf — It’s coming along pretty well. I’ve been starting to handle the ball for the last few years now, even last year on the Adidas circuit. I think it’s coming along pretty well, but obviously I’m working hard every day and getting better at it.
What are the parts of your game your looking to develop this spring and summer?
Mustaf — Leadership is probably the most important thing, because I know at the next level I’ve got to be able to lead if I’m going to play point guard. And then shooting off the dribble. I think those are some things I can work on and show.
How does it help your leadership coming into a new program (Boo Williams AAU) and having to assert your voice?
Mustaf — It’s a pretty big challenge. I pretty much did the same thing with my high school team (Carmel Christian H.S., Matthews N.C.) this year, I came in for my first year. The coaches both in high school and here have been on me about leading. They put it on me, and I just have to go out there and lead the way.
Are you pretty solid with your top five schools?
Mustaf — I’m still open to other schools, but as of right now those are the five, plus Maryland is also part of that.
(Note: Mustaf named a top five on April 1 of Indiana, Miami, N.C. State, Florida State and Virginia Tech.)
Are you planning to visit all of the other schools this summer?
Mustaf — Yes. N.C. State I can probably go any time because it’s close to where I go to school, and the rest I am probably trying to go around June, because that’s when we’re open.
(Note: Mustaf previously took an official visit to Florida State)
What is it about your game that has given you the ability to play against older competition?
Mustaf — My whole life I’ve been playing up. I was playing with the class of 2022 since I was little. So it’s not anything new to me, this is the first year I’ve been playing people my age. I think my strength, and ability and my size helps me out a lot.
What kind of influence has your father been in helping you through this process?
Mustaf — He knows everybody in this business, he can make a phone call any time. Also, he gives me a lot of advice on things, both basketball and just as a human being a person. He helps out a lot and I’m very appreciative of that. Obviously he played at the highest level where I’m trying to get to.
(Note: Mustaf’s father is former Maryland and NBA player Jerrod Mustaf)
— Mustaf is averaging 24.5 points per game through two EYBL contests. According to his MaxPreps page, he averaged 15.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game as a high school junior. He shot 49 percent from the field overall, 28 percent from three (87 attempts in 32 games), and 77 percent at the free throw line.
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