In recruiting, it's never safe to assume. Take Javaris Crittenton for example. A lot of people assumed the 6-foot-4, 180-pound point guard from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy would be hard to recruit away from nearby Georgia Tech. Not so much. Crittenton filled Rivals.com in with the latest on his recruitment and who is high on his list.
Playing in the shadows of Georgia Tech and as a familiar face inside the Yellow Jackets' Alexander Memorial Coliseum, the majority of those that follow recruiting believed that the ACC school would be hard to beat in the race for Crittenton's signature on a National Letter of Intent.
Crittenton said Georgia Tech is in the picture but they aren't amongst the favorites, at least right now, for his services.
"Georgia Tech is still one of my top schools," Crittenton reassured. "We (his support group) just decided to say that they weren't one of my top schools to let everyone know that I was still open."
And that is good news for Wake Forest, Oklahoma, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina and Stanford.
The Sooners have been down to watch Crittenton play. The Big 12 school has offered a scholarship. So have the Seminoles, who came to the state tournament to watch him play. Florida will stop by to see him play while in Atlanta for the SEC tournament. However, one school did spark a comment from the junior.
"I like North Carolina a lot but I haven't heard from them as much as the others," Crittenton said.
Even with all of the interest from a number of big-time programs, Crittenton said he isn't ready to say one school has an upper hand.
"Right now, I can't really say I'm looking at one school or another," he said.
When it comes to decision-making time, Crittenton said there is one thing he'll be looking at more than anything. And that's playing time.
"That's very important to me. I want to come in and start as a freshman," Crittenton said. "That's very key. That's why I'm working on things like my midrange game and passing skills right now so I can show people that I can come right in and play."
Not to get lost in the hustle and bustle of recruiting, it should be noted that Crittenton had a tremendous junior season. With Howard now playing for the Orlando Magic, Crittenton shouldered the load of a young team and took SACA back to the state finals, only to lose to Randolph-Clay, a team that is on a 58-game winning streak.
"I thought it was a great year," Crittenton said. "It was like we were the underdog the whole year because people didn't think we could do well without Dwight. So getting back to the state championship game was a great feeling."
A relatively young team, SACA didn't start the season strong. But thanks in larger part to Crittenton's leadership and mixture of scoring and ability to set up younger and talented players like 6-foot-8 James Hickson, a power forward worth watching long and hard this spring and summer.
Crittenton improved his perimeter game, a concern with some coaches. He scored 29 points in the final. His leadership is at coach-on-the-floor status.
The junior has already received a qualifying score on the SAT and with a slight break between high school hoops and AAU ball, Crittenton said he is trying to squeeze an official into his busy schedule this spring. Who gets the trip is yet to be determined.
So does his official list of favorites. Crittenton's recruitment is one worthy of watching long and hard this summer. Assume that much.