When the clock struck midnight this past Friday, the cell phone owned by rising high school junior Rashard Figures went into full seizure mode.
Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Virginia, Boston University, George Mason, LaSalle, St. Joe’s, Delaware, Rhode Island and UConn contacted the 6-foot-4 shooting guard shortly after Thursday, June 14th morphed into the 15th. These schools, three of which have already offered a scholarship to Figures, were taking advantage of the “unlimited call/text” rule recently instituted by the NCAA.
The resulting activity will be interesting to follow: If a school overwhelms a recruit (constantly texting “How was school?; “Can you visit soon?”; “Are you mad at me?”), the kid could get turned off. Then, there’s the opposite approach of playing “hard to get,” a great strategy in dating (if you’re an attractive female), but probably not the brightest idea for recruiting basketball players. And that’s why UConn — and the other nine midnight texters — are on the aggressive with New Jersey’s top 2014 prospect.
Figures, a big-time shooter with deep range and solid athleticism, said UConn is showing more interest than any other school (he has offers from Delaware, Rhode Island and St. Joseph’s). He’ll make his first trip to Storrs Thursday before heading east on Route 44 to URI. The Hackensack (N.J.) product said will meet coach Jim Calhoun for the first time during his visit. He’s well-aware that Calhoun may not be the head coach by the time he graduates high school — the staff has warned him of that possibility — but Figures remains intrigued because of UConn’s “style of play.”
“I think I would fit well into the offense,” he said. “I’m a shooter and a slasher, can do a little bit of everything.”
Figures visited Seton Hall Wednesday, and will likely pick up more interest as the summer progresses. He has no timetable for his college decision. He added that he has “no favorites” at this time.