Never once did Kerwin Roach get worried. The senior combo guard knew that if he kept doing what he was capable of that the attention from schools, scouts and fans would come. And it did, as his recruitment and reputation soared during the month of July.
A 6-foot-4 product of Houston (Texas) North Shore, Roach is an interesting case. A state champion in basketball and the triple jump as a junior, he had some mid-major attention headed into the summer. But, playing with the Houston Rockstarz he saw his recruitment soar to a new level once coaches got to see what he could do when the ball was in his hands on a regular basis.
During July, Roach showed that he could create off the dribble, nail jumpers from deep and play high-energy defense. Add in top shelf athleticism and loads of upside and it is easy to see why he caused a feeding frenzy among high major coaches.
"I think it is because of my height, my aggressiveness, the way I play on defense too and the way I get my teammates involved," Roach said when asked why coaches flocked to see him play during July. "I thrive at the top of the key. I have a quick first step off the triple threat or the catch. From that there's so much I can do whether it be a pull-up or a step back to the three or I can drive and kick it out."
By the end of the summer, Roach had attracted nearly 30 scholarship offers from all across the country. Earlier this week, he cut it down to a final five of California, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas and Wichita State.
"It was very tough," said Roach. "All the schools I pretty much liked the coaches and they had things I liked about them so it was tough. My dad and my AAU coach helped guide me through the process."
In addition to cutting down his list, Roach has locked in visits dates for all of his finalists but Oklahoma State. Here's a brief rundown of what he likes about each program.
Cal (Oct. 3 visit): "They are in the Pac-12 and that is a premier conference and they let them play out there. The coach, Cuonzo Martin is a relatable person who has been through a lot. He will work out with his players and knows what they are going through so he's a very relatable person."
Kansas State (Aug. 30 visit): "They won a Big 12 championship and coach Weber is a good coach. He is a good coach to talk to and so is assistant coach Al Brooks. I like that if their freshman are good payers they let them perform like they did with Marcus Foster and Wesley Iwundu, so that was a plus."
Oklahoma State (visit not set): "Coach Travis Ford the offense he runs is four out and one in and that's what we run in high school so I like that . They give their guards a lot freedom to make plays and play in transition so I really like that. They have developed guys like Marcus Smart and Markell Brown for the NBA."
Texas: "Growing up that is who most everybody watches in Texas. Whether it is football or basketball. It was like a dream come true for them to offer because you have watched them since you were little and growing up. Coach Barnes has a real good history of making it to the tournament and they have a real good group."
Wichita State: "Coach Gregg Marshall is a winner and he loves to win. That's a great attitude to have and I have that attitude too. They have great player development and they make deep runs in the tournament so that says something about their coaches."
For now, Roach's plan is to take all of his visits and then sign in when the early signing period rolls around in November. He has a plan for his visits and how they go will factor heavily into his decision.
"Headed into the visits I'm really looking for the fan support," said Roach. "You don't want a dry home crowd, that's not what you are looking for. I'm looking for the facilities they have because you want to be able to go in late at night or early morning to get up shots and I want to see if you have that access whenever needed
"Also the staff and interacting with the head coach I want to be sure that I like them. That's what I'm looing for."
Currently an unranked three-star prospect, Roach will likely make the highest debut of any newcomer to the rankings when the 2015 Rivals150 is updated next week.
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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