Jermaine Beal has played well in the spring with the loaded Team Texas AAU squad and now the 6-foot-3, 186-pound point guard from Desoto (Texas) High School is seeing the fruits of his labors on the recruiting front. Beal recently played at a couple of Big 12 elite camps and a number of new programs are beginning to show interest in the Lone Star State prospect.
Beal was a force to be reckoned with at the Nike Memorial Day Classic. He led the tournament in assists with 8.5 per game and with guys like Darrell "Slim Shady" Arthur and Bryan Davis, two of the top big men in the country, maintaining the blocks, it's easy to understand why Beal lead the tourney in assists.
"I could score 25 in any game but with all of the talent around me, I try to make everyone else better by dishing off the rock to Shady and Bryan," Beal said. "I just try and play my game and hopefully that makes everyone else better."
In between the AAU circuit and finishing up his junior year, Beal has attended Texas and Texas A&M's elite camps in the last couple of weeks.
"Both camps were good. I've been to Texas a lot before but it was my first trip to A&M. That was alright. It was a little small down there," he said.
With the Longhorns and Aggies aware of Beal, he's also receiving interest from Baylor (offer), SMU (offer) and Oklahoma. After playing well in the spring, he's hearing from a couple of new schools, too.
"I just moved to a new place so I may not be getting a lot of the same stuff I did at my old house but I've always heard from the Big 12 schools," Beal said. "Illinois is starting to send me some stuff. I've talked to them a couple of times. Vanderbilt is starting to show some interest, too.
"I like Illinois. I like what they have there," Beal said. "I probably like them more than they like me right now."
Still open in the process, Beal said he's interested in seeing what schools watch him in July. He does know what he wants when it comes time to make a final decision on a school.
"I want to go somewhere that I can play as a freshman. I'd say that 92 percent of my decision is based on playing right away," Beal said. "Of course, education is first and foremost but I want to play. Location is a big thing. I want have a good social life and just be a college kid and have some things to do. Plus, I want to be somewhere that my parents can come and watch me play or see me on TV."
With a qualifying score on the SAT, Beal can officially visit schools but he said he'll likely make some stops in August after schools have a chance to evaluate the three-star point guard. He maintains he's willing to listen to any program that wants to recruit him this summer.
Beal will be able to prove himself against some of the best of players in the country at the NBA Players Association camp and the Nike All-American camp in July. Team Texas will also be in N. Augusta, S.C. for the Nike Peach Jam.