In a matter of 24 hours two high school and travel team teammates committed to different Big Ten schools. Four-star prospects Demetri McCamey and five-star prospect Evan Turner talked to Rivals.com about their decision.
McCamey, a power point guard at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, has hit his stride as a playmaker, running the show for the successful Illinois Wolves program. Now he is ready, in fact has always been ready, to continue his progression as a multifaceted guard with his in-state school.
"I feel really good right now," said McCamey, the No. 51 ranked prospect in the Rivals150. "Playing for Illinois really is a dream come true. It all happened on Tuesday when I played with their players and they offered.
"I've always wanted to play there, since it is close to home and my family can watch me. My other top schools were Wake Forest and Indiana, and my mom really didn't want to travel that far away."
With a physique and game similar to former Illinois great and top five NBA pick Deron Williams, McCamey was enticed by the three guard line up that Coach Bruce Weber likes to employ.
"I fit in perfect at the point there with Jamar Smith and Eric Gordon on the wings as great shooters and scorers," he said. "It is a perfect situation for me to penetrate and set those guys up.
"Also, I am capable of moving off the ball. In their three guard approach, no one has the pressure to bring the ball up all the time."
McCamey's teammate and friend Evan Turner will play his ball in Ohio, but he will not be far from family.
"I just knew that Ohio State was the right fit for me," Turner said. "I have family out there, and I got along well with the other three commits. Coach Matta seemed so sincere and a good guy. Plus, I love the Big Ten, and I want to help them win a national championship."
With the No. 2 ranked recruiting class hitting the floor this season, and with Kosta Koufos, Jon Diebler and Dallas Lauderdale in the 2007 fold with Turner, Thad Matta is turning heads with his ability to attract to what was once thought of as just a football school.
"Coach Matta has such a strong personality," said Turner about Coach Matta's ability as a recruiter. "He is so excited all the time. Everything about him is so positive."
Turner, who was considering Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa along with Ohio State, acknowledged that if he wanted to be a Buckeye, he had to commit to Ohio State before Alex Tyus visited the school. The No. 23 ranked prospect in the Rivls150, however, knew he needed to be a Buckeye regardless of the pressure to commit now or never.
"I knew right there and then that I wanted to go to Ohio State when they told me that the last scholarship might be gone after this week," he said. "I would have been heartbroken if I had missed out on this opportunity.
"Everything was so right, and it felt just like family there. I knew I needed to do it. A lot of people think I just committed because of the pressure, but I've never been more sure about anything."
So what will it be like for two year round teammates to line up against each other?
"We'll be friends before and after the game, but no friends on the court," said McCamey. "I'm looking forward to competing against Evan. It will be fun and very competitive."
Both McCamey and Turner will attend the Reebok ABCD Camp as well as hitting the Big Time in Las Vegas with the Illinois Wolves later in July.
Demetri McCamey scouting report:
Establishing himself as a true point guard after moving over from the off guard position, McCamey has unique size and playmaking ability. He has the combination of strength, speed and craftiness to get to wherever he needs with the ball. Also, defends and rebounds his position well.
Evan Turner scouting report:
Turner is a smooth athlete at nearly 6-foot-7 who plays like a budding new age point guard. He handles the ball equally well with either hand and has a superb hesitation move going either direction. He is also able to guard four positions on the court. He does need to get stronger and improve his shooting range. But with his fluid handle, mid-range capabilities, court vision and defensive prowess, Turner is developing into an elite prospect.