He wanted to have a list of schools to consider going into the summer but a trip to Germany and so many solid options has slowed the process down for A.J. Stewart. The bouncy 6-foot-7 forward from Arlington Country Day (ACD) in Jacksonville, Fla., told Rivals.com that he will have a manageable list in the near future.
Stewart said he and ACD head coach Rex Morgan will trim the list of schools down to 10 by the end of the month, Stewart says.
The Florida teams – Florida, Florida State and Miami – are sitting strong, Stewart said, for location purposes.
"I still kind of, sort of want to stay close to home," Stewart said.
Illinois makes the list. "I like them a lot," Stewart said. "They've been on me for a long, long time."
Texas and Wake Forest are players for his signature, too. Stewart's teammate Jason Bennett is headed to Kansas State and the Wildcats will likely make the short list.
"You know, coach (Morgan) and coach (Bob) Huggins are close," Stewart said. "He's been watching me since was at Cincinnati. He's a real cool guy."
If a school has not offered, that institution will not make the final cut, he said. Stewart said he and Morgan will discuss everything.
"Coach told me that he was going to give me a list of all of the schools that have offered and what positions they have coming in and coming out and who they have signed, all of that stuff." Stewart said. "We'll talk about style of play they have and then narrow it down from that."
Stewart takes the SAT on June 10 for the first time. A list should formulate sometime after that, Stewart said. The official visits to the schools outside of his driving range will likely receive official visits and a decision could soon follow.
"After the visits, I think I'll be able to commit," Stewart said. "I want to have something done before the high school season. I want to get it over with before we start playing my senior season."
Stewart worked on his skills last month at the Albert Schweitzer games in Germany. While there, he enjoyed playing a different brand of basketball than he is used to.
"It was awesome. It was an experience of a lifetime," Stewart said. "It's different out there. Everybody over there is big and can shoot. Israel even had a 6-foot-9 point guard with a full on beard. You had to learn how to defend the bigger guys with more skills. That was an adjustment but I liked it."
Stewart and his Tallahassee Wildcats will play at a local event this weekend in Florida and then make the trek to the North Carolina Triangle for the Tournament of Champions over the Memorial Day Weekend.