Q&A with 2021 four-star Micawber Etienne
One of the top big men in the class of 2021, Micawber Etienne is coming off of a big high school season at Suffield (Conn.) Academy and has seen his recruitment take off. It would have only been taking off more this weekend had Covid-19 not prevented him from playing in a live period EYBL session with his summer team the PSA Cardinals.
Still, Etienne caught up with us for an in depth question and answer session about who is involved, where he's been and possibly moving to the class of 2020.
Eric Bossi (EB): "First question, which schools have offered you scholarships and who is showing attention?"
Micawber Etienne (ME): "It’s all good! VCU, Marquette, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Syracuse, Xavier, Wake forest, Providence, Iowa, East Carolina, UConn, Arizona State, UCLA, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Illinois, Georgetown, Miami,Texas A&M, Ohio State, Louisville, and Kansas have all offered me a scholarship so far and I’m talking with a lot of other schools but I’m really focused on the ones who’ve offered."
EB: "That's impressive. Have you taken any official or unofficial visits?"
ME: "It took a lot of hard work and yeah I visited St. John’s, Providence, UConn, Seton Hall, Rutgers, and Syracuse unofficially and I’ve visited Marquette and Illinois officially."
EB: "That's a lot of visits so far. Are you good with breaking down how each of those went? We can just go through in the order you mentioned them starting with St. John's."
ME: "That was my first visit that I ever took. It was a great visit. Staying home in New York City, especially with this Covid-19 going around it's something that is very underappreciated. I feel like we take something like that for granted a lot so having that possibility is really appealing to me."
EB: "Providence, what stands out about them?"
ME: "Coach (Ed) Cooley and coach (Brian) Blaney they came to a lot of my games. It seems like every tournament I was in that I always saw them on the sidelines. I've built a great relationship with them and their staff and I visited and had a great time. It really felt like a family environment, that they really cared about their players and that coach Cooley has really emphasized that he's not going to sugarcoat anything he's saying to me. He's really wants to keep it real with me and I really appreciate that."
EB: "UConn, what stands out about Dan Hurley and the Huskies?"
ME: "We all have a great relationship, coach Hurley and coach (Tom) Moore. One time they came to my school just to say hi and we ended up talking for like two and a half hour. I visited their campus a couple of times so I have a very good feel about UConn. I feel like it's a great school and them moving to the Big East next year is really good. They have a lot of players that I already know and am close with. It would be like going onto a team where you already have friends there and that you know you are going to enjoy yourself."
EB: "Seton Hall, another Big East team, what do you like about them?"
ME: "Seton Hall, they had an amazing season. They won the Big East which was a great conference and being able to come out on top of that type of conference is really impressive because it shows how good of a team you are. When I was down there on a visit they were telling me how they get their players better and they showed me one of their individual workouts and I could see just how much they actually push their players and want to make them better."
EB: "Rutgers had their best season in some time, what stood out about them?"
ME: "It's a great school with some tradition and history and when I visited, I thought man, the campus is beautiful. I visited their new performance center right before it opened. They let me in before it opened and they showed me all around and it's beautiful. I feel like they probably have one of the best facilities in the country. They are in a great conference, the Big Ten, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how (Clifford Omoruyi) does there next season."
EB: "Syracuse, a New York school in the ACC, what do they say?"
ME: "Syracuse, I've built a very close relationship with coach Gerry McNamara and I talk with coach (Jim) Boeheim and coach Red (Adrian Autry) all the time. I went there for their game versus Duke and honestly there was no environment like that. There was 33 thousand people in there just screaming at the top of their lungs and all rooting for their team. That just shows you how much support they have behind their program and just shows you that their fans actually enjoy being there.
"Playing in that type of conference, you play the best competition every night. That's something I'm potentially looking forward to. Dior Johnson is always in my ear about it, Chance Westry is always in my ear about it too."
EB: "Now let's move to the official visits. Marquette is up first. You've knocked off most of the teams in the Big East haven't you?"
ME: "Marquette was great. Me and coach (Dwayne) Killings, well he was the first coach to really start recruiting me. He saw me after the first live period last year and he came to my school right after that. We had an open gym in the spring. We've just sat down and talked a lot and he's honestly a really cool guy. When I went to visit in October it was great. I was hanging out with the team, hanging out with Markus Howard, Theo John and you could see how much of a family environment and how much the players really love it there. That was great to see. Coach (Steve) Wojciechowski is really cool and I'm excited to see how they do this upcoming season."
EB: "Finally on the visits you've got Illinois. They've made some waves in New York where you are from with their recruiting the last couple of years. How was the visit there?"
ME: "So my visit with Illinois was great. They also play in the Big Ten which is a great conference and they are playing great competition every night. I watched their game with Iowa the big matchup was Kofi Cockburn versus Luka Garza. You could really see how they used Kofi's strength to his advantage. It ultimately, in my opinion, led to him being about to outplay Luka who is one of the best players in the country and Kofi was only a freshman.
"I was able to see how they really develop their players. I mean Kofi may be a one and done now. You could really see that they use their big men in their offense. They use their big men every time down the floor and the offense runs through them. It almost seems like the offense is not going to start until a big man touches the ball."
EB: "Things are so up in the air with Covid-19 as you mentioned, but your stock has really taken off. More and more schools are calling, you are getting big time offers. What is it about your game that has caused all this to happen?"
ME: "I feel like it's my motor and my energy. That's my biggest strengths I bring. When I'm on the court, whoever is guarding me, I'm going to try and put fear in their heart. I'm going to try and make it seem like they can't score in the paint and I'm always going to be up in their face and bringing a lot of energy. I also bring the energy to my teammates.
"For example, a lot of coaches talk to me about last summer's Peach Jam with my team the PSA Cardinals. If a teammate got an "And 1" I'd be so happy I would scream, go hug them and be like Let's go! That's something a lot of coaches like and I like doing it. For me personally I don't have any, well I put it like this, I have personal goals but I like the team more. So if I can see the whole team eat, that makes we way happier."
EB: "Once you can take visits, are there any schools where you feel you definitely need to go see?"
ME: "Yeah for sure. I definitely want to get out to some schools. Like I talk to Kansas a lot and want to see them. I just had a virtual visit with Louisville, I just had a virtual visit with Ohio State like an hour before we started talking. I was going to go down to Florida and I was going to see Miami. I was trying to plan it all for once my basketball season ended but once it ended this stuff got it all off track and I didn't get the chance to do anything."
EB: "It sounds like you are pretty wide open then."
ME: "For sure. I'm super wide open and right now I'm just talking with Munch (summer coach Munch Williams) about whether I want to go back to the 2020 class or stay in 2021. Right now I'm completely open and then towards the end of the summer I'm really going to have a serious talk about whether I should go back to my original class or stay in prep school and this class right here. I'm just open to everyone that's involved and building these relationships."