The recruitment of elite 2014 prospect Chris McCullough, a consensus top 10 player and a major target for UConn, appears to be wide open.
At least that’s what his AAU coach, Terrence “Munch” Williams, will tell you.
“The schools that stand out to him will be the ones that come to the majority of his games this summer,” Williams said. “The schools that show the most interest will be the frontrunners.”
Williams, the coach of Team Scan (a New York-based AAU team ranked No.1 in the nation), is helping his 6-foot-10, 220-pound rising junior through the process of selecting a college. Right now, McCullough holds “about 20 offers,” Williams said. He plans to cut the list to five or six schools before next high school basketball season.
According to Williams, Syracuse, St. John’s Kansas, Iowa State, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Florida and UConn are among the possible suitors.
“Kevin Ollie does a great job — quote me on that,” Williams said.
Outside of Ollie, Williams listed UConn’s “pedigree as far as winning national championships,” its reputation for putting players in the NBA and its location as reasons to consider the Huskies.
The uncertainty surrounding Jim Calhoun’s future — an issue for many recruits — doesn’t seem to be a detterent for McCullough.
“Kevin Ollie is a great person, a great coach,” Williams said. “Calhoun is great. I think the thing that is most important is that (UConn) becomes eligible for the tournament. With the head coach, whether it’s Ollie or Calhoun or (Glen) Miller or whoever, as long as they have (a good relationship with McCullough), that’s what’s important.”
McCullough, who hails from The Bronx but attends The Salisbury School (Salisbury, Conn.), is lining up visits for August. There were rumors that he’d reclassify for the class of 2013, but according to Williams, he’s sticking with 2014 “for now.”
“We’re comfortable with 2014,” Williams said.
Although McCullough plays high school ball in Connecticut, UConn doesn’t necessarily have an advantage over Florida, Kansas or any other powerhouse program.
“He’s a national recruit,” Williams said. “And we play in (AAU tournaments) all across the country. There’s opportunity for all schools to come show him love, and that’s what we’re looking for.”
If UConn can reel in the long, versatile McCullough — he runs the floor well for a big man, shoots 3-pointers and, needless to say, has extremely high upside — it could be one of the program’s best recent pulls. Only Andre Drummond and DeAndre Daniels have been rated higher.