Q & A: Jameel McKay talks IU, decision timetable

  • 04/21/2012 1:48 pm in

Over the last month, Indiana has been tracking Indian Hills C.C. (IA) forward Jameel McKay closely and the Hoosiers offered a scholarship to the JUCO All-American after a workout last week. It was Indiana’s second trip to watch McKay in less than a week.

Inside the Hall talked at length with McKay about his interest in the IU program, his thoughts on Tom Crean, his evolving game, his recruitment and much more:

On what Indiana believes he can bring to the program:

“Right now they’re interested in me coming in and playing right away. Bringing the same type of game play that I bring right now to my team and help bring another banner to the program.”

On his familiarity with Crean from his time at Marquette and how that factors in to his interest:

“It’s a big factor. When I was younger, I used to go to a lot of Marquette games. I know the way he lets his players play. I watched Indiana a couple of times this year, like four or five times, and I liked the players they had and the way he let the players play. He helps make players their best.”

On how he viewed the resurgence of the Indiana program this past season:

“He [Coach Crean] had to have a good vision. Because he left Marquette at a point where Marquette was really good. They had some good players returning. It just takes a process when you’re trying to start over with a new program. He got players to listen and got some of the players he wanted. This year he’s got one of the top recruiting classes coming in so Indiana’s back.”

On the strengths of his game:

“My strength is when I’m facing up with the ball. I can play multiple positions and I bring a lot of energy to the game. I’m very versatile and can score in different ways. I’m a very good offensive rebounder. I got a nose for where the ball is going to go off of rebounds.”

On what makes a great offensive rebounder:

“As long as you go [to the glass], you’re going to get rebounds. As long as you go. Everybody doesn’t go. It’s so hard to keep a box out and keep a body on somebody at all times. I figure if I just go, I can get a lot [of rebounds]. A lot of times I just go with my length.”

On areas of improvement for his game:

“Last year I guarded every position on the court. It was mostly point guards because I was on top of the press. I think that’s why a lot of schools like me because I can guard multiple positions. This year I played well against point guards. I want to get my off-the-ball defense a lot better and my on-the-ball defense a lot better. I’m still developing that. And just getting stronger. This past year the biggest difference for me was strength. I still had a good year, but I’ve just gotta get stronger. I know if I get stronger, the game will become a lot easier.”

On setting up an unofficial visit to Bloomington:

“I do plan on taking an unofficial to Indiana. I don’t know any dates right now, but I wouldn’t mind taking an unofficial visit before I take my officials in September.”

On the timetable for his recruitment and a decision:

“I plan on deciding the school I’m going to go to by October 1. It’s not going to be any later than October 1 before I know the school I’m going to.”

On the list of schools involved in his recruitment:

“Memphis, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa State, Illinois, Wichita State, USC and Marquette.”

On whether or not any schools stand out:

“All schools are equal at this moment because I haven’t had a lot of time to just think about it. I wouldn’t put anyone ahead. But what I can say about Indiana is them showing up two times this week, that did show me how much of a priority I am for them and that they really are interested in me.”

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  • Mr_Howard8h

    Jameel just needs to eat a few cheeseburgers before he’s ready for the B1G, but his skill level and athleticism is game-ready right now.  I hope we get him for an unofficial over the summer so we can really make an impression.  He’d be a terrific addition to 2013.

  • Mr_Howard8h

    Jameel just needs to eat a few cheeseburgers before he’s ready for the B1G, but his skill level and athleticism is game-ready right now.  I hope we get him for an unofficial over the summer so we can really make an impression.  He’d be a terrific addition to 2013.

  • Kelin Blab

    Michael Kidd Gilcrest type….love the possibilities. Length on top of length with him, perea, hollowell, jurkin, patterson, D.Davis, and the upperclassmen that year.

  • Marcg41470

    I’ve heard people question why IU would be recruiting this kid.  I think he gave us the answer to that:

    “Last year I guarded every position on the court. It was mostly point guards because I was on top of the press. “

  • LeeTimmer

    I like his attitude. He sounds confident and knows what he can do, but it doesn’t come across as arrogant.

  • Bucky

    I’m impressed with how bright and articulate he is.  He gives concise answers that relate directly to what was asked.  That is not an easy thing to do.  Maybe he’ll end up as a broadcaster or coach someday.   

    He also shows respect for the IU program, and sees how he would contribute.   

  • 888

    If you think hes a MKG type im all for signing him. I think hes a player.

  • SCHoosier

    Little more meat on the bones and this kid is a “sleeper/keeper”. TC certainly isn’t letting any grass grow under his feet on the recuriting trial.

  • jaywiz

    anyone who realizes that defense is top priority is good in my book. sign him up> !

  • Miamihoosier

    Other than probably Anya, there is no one else we are recruiting I’d like to see sign more than this guy for the 2013 class.    We could win the title next year, but if we do, worst case scenario, we lose, Cody, Yogi, and Vic, with Watford, Hulls, Elston.       That leaves very little experience,  and this guy having 2 years of college ball under his belt could really help. I think it is also becoming clear we are going to need a point guard in this class.    If we are going to compete at an elite level, I don’t see Remy as the starter. Monte Morris seems like the next piece we’d need, unless they feel they can get Stanford Robinson to run the point too.     

  • IUFAN87

    You know this kid would be awesome with 2013 Davis/Fischer-F 2012 2012- Jurkin-C then 2014 Guards Lyles/and if we could ever get Lyle to committ would be nice looking if you can get this locked up our recruitment would be set till the 2015 class way to go CTC

  •  Yogi won’t be going anywhere next season, whether we win the National Championship or whether he wins Big Ten Freshman of the Year, etc.  Height will keep him from being a Legit NBA first round prospect (i.e. Trey Burke)  They will want to see him prove it for more than one year if so… Yogi will be here for AT LEAST 3 years, probably 4 years. 

  •  Yogi won’t be going anywhere next season, whether we win the National Championship or whether he wins Big Ten Freshman of the Year, etc.  Height will keep him from being a Legit NBA first round prospect (i.e. Trey Burke)  They will want to see him prove it for more than one year if so… Yogi will be here for AT LEAST 3 years, probably 4 years. 

  • calbert40

    I like this kid better than Anya, actually.  Everything I have seen of Anya is kind of a plodding big man.  He is obviously very good, and I’d be fine if he committed, but I am not certain he fits our up-tempo style of play.  I think McKay fits our program better – more athletic, able to get up and down the floor, etc.