Peach Jam Notebook: White, McCullough talk IU

  • 07/21/2012 3:38 pm in

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Paul White battled and got the putback in an attempt to rescue his rallying Meanstreets team, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

The four-star forward scored eight points and added seven rebounds, but Meanstreets saw its Peach Jam run end in pool play with a 2-3 record following an 80-76 loss to The Family on Saturday morning.

“That was just trying to give us hope,” White said of his effort in the late rally. “Unfortunately, it didn’t put us over the mountaintop. I was just not trying to give up.”

The 6-foot-8 forward from Whitney Young in Chicago already has a scholarship offer from Indiana, which he learned of through one of his AAU coaches. His contact with the IU staff has been limited thus far, but White hopes to change that very soon.

“I’m planning on getting in contact with them,” White said. “I don’t know if they have my cell number. They may, but I’m going to tell one of the coaches to make sure that they have one of my numbers.”

White said he is interested in the Hoosiers – he spoke highly of the program’s history and former coach Bobby Knight and player Isiah Thomas – along with Florida, Ohio State, Marquette, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, DePaul, Northwestern, Florida State and a few others schools.

White said his relationship with the various coaching staffs pursuing him will play a big part in his decision.

“It’s always nice to talk about basketball, but it’s even better to just talk as people,” he said. “It makes you feel comfortable.”

White, who will be a junior this year, has set a goal to play a little tougher.

“I’m looking to be more aggressive in the high school season,” he said. “I learned, on this team, I was a little bit too passive.”

Highly touted 2014 prospect “blessed” by IU offer

It may still be fresh in his mind, but Chris McCullough remains excited about Indiana’s offer – and all the others.

“It was good (to get the IU offer),” the 6-foot-10 forward said. “I was just blessed to have another offer.”

McCullough, who plays for Connecticut’s Salisbury School, said coach Tom Crean called him with the offer about two weeks ago and the two have been keeping in touch since.

Indiana is one of the schools contacting McCullough frequently along with Connecticut, St. John’s, Kansas, Syracuse, Arizona, Temple and Ohio State.

This week at the Peach Jam, McCullough’s Team Scan is off to a 3-0 start thanks in large part to the stellar play of its five-star prospect.

On Friday, the rising junior scored 17 points as Team Scan beat Houston Hoops, 69-54. The undefeated record puts Team Scan into a 16U semifinal game against the Southern Stampede at 8:45 p.m. tonight.

It’s all been another successful stretch for McCullough, who said he’s staying calm through all the attention.

“I just try not to [think about it],” he said. “I try to play my game.”

Wayne Staats is a sports reporter at The Augusta Chronicle, where he’s covered high school sports since August of 2010. He’s reporting this week from the Peach Jam for Inside the Hall.

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  • Kelin Blab

    I really like both of these prospects. McCullough is an absolute beast. Has a similar game to Trey Lyles but not as much inside game but a little more bouncy.

  • Kelin Blab

    This has been asked before….I will be brief in my explanation…

    1. Multiple guys get offered but recruits are communicated either, ‘we would like an answer by _____’, “we don’t want an answer until ______” or ” in a sense it is up to you…(Gary Harris for example)

    2. Guys with offers don’t have all year to sit back and wait and IU does stop recruiting guys who have offers and the players know, I have this offer but I have not heard from them so they know the coach has moved on…Kinda like Mitch McGary and IU.

    Hope that helps………this came from a couple coaches mouths

  • jahhoosier

    I find it curious that White has an offer, but seems to have had limited contact with the coaching staff, if there has been any contact at all. Is this normal? I’d think the staff would want to do more in the way of due diligence about a kid’s personality and goals…something that is hard to do without ever chatting with the young man.

    Again, maybe it’s S.O.P., but I sure find that strange. Or maybe it just means that, for Coach Crean, there are different kinds of offers. There are offers, and then there are offer-offers; sort of like dating in middle school…”Do you ‘like’ me or do you ‘like-like’ me…circle the one that applies.” In the case of White, then, it would presumably not become an offer-offer until he has talked with the staff some.

    Anyway, if that’s Crean’s approach, it would shed a bit of light on why the staff seem to have offered such a high number of players: not all of them are “offer-offers.” It also might give me some hope that Crean is not necessarily planning on continuous over-signing…that all 2013 and 2014 offers are contingent on 100% certainty by Crean that a player intends to leave prior to exhausting his eligibility. I still would not like the use of the over-sign, but I wouldn’t necessarily “not-not” like it.

  • SCHoosier

    wow that McCullough kid is something else..let’s keep on this guy TC.

  • SCHoosier

    I would think the family’s influence..the HS coach”s..the program the player is in..his likely ability to qualify academically etc..all play a role in how and when an offer is made. with most of these kids..their mama’s wear the emotional pants in the family…and she’s probably recruited as hard as the kid is.

  • Kelin Blab

    Families are absolutely recruited as well, especially as the kids get older and closer to having the ability to sign a LOI