August 26, 2010

Elite point guard knows decision time is near

There were times during the summer that Ky Madden didn't have to think about recruiting.

His AAU team, the Arkansas Wings, won the 17-and-under national championship, and the 6-foot-4 point guard from Lepanto (East Poinsett County), Ark., played a big role in securing that title.

However, the summer travels are over and Madden's senior year has begun. And with that has come the reality that a huge decision is looming.

"I think about it every now and then when I'm at school that I'm not a ninth-grader anymore and the decision is here," Madden said Wednesday night. "I know I have to make up my mind."

Madden, ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 6 point guard and the No. 27 overall prospect in the country, will take his first official visit to Baylor on Sept. 11. He said he plans to take an official visit to Ole Miss one of the following two weekends. Madden said he's also close to firming up an official visit date to Connecticut. Arkansas, Georgetown and Oklahoma State are in the mix for the final two visits, though Madden said he plans to sign in the early signing period, which begins Nov. 10.

Madden said three of those schools stand out for now.

"I like Arkansas, Ole Miss and Baylor because I've seen those schools," Madden said. "But after I see the other schools, it'll be open."

Madden's sister, Jordan Madden, plays basketball at Baylor. Ky Madden said Wednesday that his sister's presence in Waco is a factor, but not a deciding one.

"It'd be fun to play in the same organization with her, but I have to do what's best for me and I'm pretty sure she'll be happy with the decision I'll make," Madden said.

Two of Madden's AAU teammates, forward Hunter Mickelson and forward Aaron Ross, have committed to the home-state Razorbacks. Both prospects have actively recruited Madden to join them in Fayetteville, but Madden said the home-state pressure won't sway him one way or the other.

"I hear it every now and then," Madden said. "I hear it around school, but it's really not too much pressure."

Then there's Ole Miss. The Rebels have been recruiting Madden longer than any other program, and Madden said Wednesday the Rebels' coaching staff is the one he knows best.

"They're top two," Madden said of Andy Kennedy's Rebels. "I really like the school and everything about it.

"I talk to (the Ole Miss staff) a lot. Ole Miss probably has an edge. They're good people. We have long conversations about more than just basketball. That'll be a big thing with me. You have to get along with the coaches. But I have a great relationship with all of the coaches recruiting me."

One of Ole Miss' other top targets is Cleveland (East Side), Miss., power forward Johnny O'Bryant, who is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 8 prospect at his position and the No. 38 prospect nationally. Madden and O'Bryant have developed a relationship over the past couple of years via the AAU circuit and unofficial visits, and Madden said the duo talks about playing together.

"I really don't talk to a lot of people," Madden said, "but I talk to Johnny O'Bryant a lot. I really don't know what decision he's going to be making. He says he likes Ole Miss a lot, but I really don't know where he'll go.

""It'd be incredible (to play at the college level with O'Bryant). I'd love to play with him. He's a good player and a good person as well."

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