August 26, 2013

Baylor impresses Maston

The first thing T.J. Maston noticed when he went into Waco this past Saturday was the numerous billboards promoting Baylor's top athletes.

Then when he went to the Ferrell Center he saw what Baylor might have to offer. His trip focused on watching members of the 2013-14 Bear squad and former Bear Perry Jones III get after it in a pickup game. Baylor formally offered him on Saturday.

"The whole thing opened my eyes,'' Maston said. "I was impressed. I'd heard a lot of good things but the staff clarified them. I was kind of relaxed throughout the whole time. I know they were interested and thought I could be a good fit for them.''

While Maston (6-8, 225) didn't verbally commit, the 3-star power forward knows he saw enough and heard enough to determine he wants to follow up with an official visit soon. He's thinking of scheduling official visits to Baylor, Miami (Fla.), Kansas State and Marquette. Those schools have also offered him.

Maston somewhat reminds you of Baylor 2013 signee Johnathan Motley of Galena Park North Shore. Motley is 6-8 but weighed a little less. Maston enjoyed an impressive summer with Team Texas Elite averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds per game. A healthy chunk of that scoring came around the basket.

But he takes pride in his defense and says he doesn't mind getting after his opponent every step of the way down the floor. He's also very comfortable bringing the ball up the court in a pinch. Baylor has told him he would have that opportunity when the situation allows.

He's had some help growing as a front court player. His uncle is former Texas Tech and NBA star forward Tony Battie. Battie finished his 15-season career with Philadelphia in 2011-12.

"I work out with him all the time,'' Maston said. "He pushes me to be more aggressive and to keep facing up toward the basket. It's gotten better this summer, but I have to keep working at it.''

Recruits tend to look for little things to know if the situation is real. While Maston watched the action, he saw that every player was wearing the same t-shirt and that players appeared to get along with each other off the floor.

There's little doubt Baylor would like to add him to the 2014 signing class with the recently committed Damiyne Durham. This group will need more front court help.

"I do want to get to know them more,'' he said. "Of course they were telling me how much they want to win and how tough the Big 12 is and the number of guys they've sent to the pros. I know I wouldn't be coming to a rebuilding situation. I would be adding to what they have.''

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