January 17, 2009

Jamil Wilson: Part I

Jamil Wilson is one of the most mature young players you'll ever see on the basketball court. And if you ever get a chance to talk to him, the same thing is true off of it. In one short discussion Wilson was able to answer one of the biggest questions fans have about recruiting. What else could this guy possibly need to know before he makes a decision? Wilson answered it for everyone when I talked to him the other day.

"Waiting is the best decision I've made so far," said the nation's #8 rated small forward by Rivals.com, "People thought if I waited it out I'd gain interest in other schools but that hasn't happened." After weeks of speculation that he would sign early with Texas, Michigan St., or Oregon, he took a step back and chose to not sign at all. A decision that at the time was more surprising than any school he could've chosen. He's finished with his official visits and he's seen everything, why wait? Wilson had a few great reasons for not signing early and giving himself more time.

"Now I get to watch all the teams play in real games. I get to focus on the teams I'm still looking at and watch the coaches and the players and see how I might fit in", said Wilson, "I also get to see how the players and the coaches relate a little bit. To watch what happens when things go right, and when they go wrong. I'm starting to see how I like this about one program but don't like something else in real game situations. And I'm looking to see how I'd fit with one team or another by watching how guys play with each other."

That's a very mature approach for a young man who still hasn't played a single college basketball game. "It's basically down to those three", said Wilson, "maybe a fourth but I'm not sure." Those three are Oregon, Texas, and Michigan State in no particular order of course. And the fourth is probably Marquette who may have slipped back onto Wilson's radar despite signing four players in the '09 class already. Texas has already signed four players, including two elite small forwards who will also play Wilson's spot at the next level.

Wilson says he's still on track to sign during the spring signing period and he's still got all three schools in mind. He says right now nothing's changed and he's not likely to take any more official visits although he might go and watch a game or two in person if his schedule allows.

Some previous articles have reported that Wilson will make his announcement on his mother's birthday, March 8th. Doing so would allow him to basically see the entire season for each team of course and see whether Tom Izzo's lunch bucket approach at Michigan State, Rick Barnes' approach down in Austin or Ernie Kent's free-flowing energy driven style fits best with his game. Even if he doesn't make another trip to Eugene, he'll have plenty of chances to see the Ducks as they'll have a bunch of conference games televised this year.

Wilson's approach obviously shows a lot of maturity and the willingness to gather as much information as he can before making such a big decision. And whoever gets his commitment is getting a player who's willing to do whatever work it takes to make the right decision.

Duck Sports Authority will have a second piece on Wilson that discusses why he's such a coveted player in the Class of '09.

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