McCallum will visit Florida before making a final decisionby Javier Morales on Nov. 02, 2009, under Sports
After watching Ray McCallum play this summer in an AAU summer tournament in Las Vegas I am not surprised that he is calculating each of his recruiting stops and avoiding any rushed decisions.
He plays similarly under control with a sense of determination to get things right. One play in particular I recall: McCallum setting the offense on top of the key, barking out orders and waving off a teammate. He looked primed to get his own shot off. He penetrated to the side of the lane and instinctively looked for teammate Trey Ziegler on the opposite side for a spot-up three-pointer.
Unselfish and instinctive: two quality traits of a point guard and McCallum showed that on many occasions while leading Team Detroit to the Reebok tournament title.
McCallum, a 6-1, 170-pound, point guard at Detroit Country Day School, told me a couple of weeks ago shortly after visiting UCLA that he could pull the trigger on a decision at any time — “You never know. If I go somewhere and I really like it, that could be good enough for me to make up my mind right there,” he said — but I sensed McCallum would take all of his visits before deciding which school to play for in 2010-11.
He confirmed that with me tonight, less than 24 hours after returning to Detroit from his official visit to Arizona.
“Yeah, I want to visit Florida next weekend and then sit down with my parents (before making a decision),” said, McCallum, rated a 4-star recruit by Rivals.com and 5-star by Scout.com.
His decision to follow through with his plans to visit Gainesville is not a negative reflection on Arizona. He wants to see what every program is like up close before making up his mind. He has already visited Oklahoma and UCLA. His father, Ray McCallum Sr., the head coach at Detroit, also hopes his son plays for him, but more than anything, he wants his son to make his own decision after weighing everything.
The visit to Tucson was another positive development for UA coach Sean Miller, Miller’s assistants, the UA players and faculty. McCallum and his father observed the Red-Blue game on Sunday afternoon. McCallum Sr. afterward offered his educated opinion about where his son would fit into the UA lineup.
“We looked at it and thought that I could fit in pretty good at Arizona, especially with Nic Wise gone after this year,” McCallum said. “They will be needing a point guard. MoMo (Jones) is probably more of a combo guard than a point guard.
“I think I can go there and contribute right away. I know I will have to work hard to earn my spot, but I think I can be a contributor. But you can say that for all the other schools I’m looking at. I am confident that I can go to any of those schools and contribute right away.”
The UA was originally scheduled as McCallum’s last visit but McCallum had to reschedule his visit with Gators coach Billy Donovan because he was selected the homecoming king for his high school. He was supposed to visit Florida the same weekend of the homecoming events three weeks ago.
Florida, Arizona and UCLA especially offer a warmer climate than what McCallum is accustomed to at Detroit.
“It’s always nice to be in warm weather like Arizona this time of year,” McCallum said. “I liked how warm it was there especially being from the cold here in Detroit.”
McCallum debunked the idea that Arizona has an edge because Miller and assistant coach James Whitford share a coaching past and are good friends with his father.
“I guess you could say it helps Arizona because my dad knows Coach Miller,” McCallum said. “But my father has been coaching the last 25 years, so he knows a lot of coaches.”
Here is the point guard situation in 2010-11 pertaining to the schools recruiting McCallum (by the way, none of them have a point guard among their existing Class of 2010 recruits):
Arizona: Momo Jones and Garland Judkins will likely spell Wise the most of this season. If McCallum signs with Arizona — the weeklong November signing period starts Nov. 11 — he undoubtedly will be penciled in as the prospective starter at point guard next season with Jones sharing the load and Daniel Bejarano and Kyle Fogg competing for the starting off-guard spot.
Oklahoma: The Sooners have freshman Tommy Mason-Griffin, a McDonald’s All-American point guard, and little-used sophomore T.J. Franklin at that position. McCallum and Mason-Griffin would likely compete for the starting point guard position and Mason-Griffin would have a year in Jeff Capel’s system to his advantage.
UCLA: Sophomore guard Jerime Anderson is slated to start for Ben Howland this season but he is largely untested and unproven. And he’s injured. He’s out indefinitely because of a strained groin. Ask Salim Stoudamire how damaging a groin injury can be in basketball. It can easily be aggravated because of the twists and turns the body makes on the hardwood. Anderson backed up Darren Collison a year ago but only played 8.6 minutes per game. McCallum, however, is not as highly rated by Rivals.com as Anderson was last year. Anderson was the No. 3 point guard and No. 31 overall prospect in the Class of 2008 by Scout.com. He was rated the No. 7 point guard and No. 37 overall prospect by Rivals.com. McCallum is ranked the No. 7 point guard and No. 23 prospect overall by Scout.com in the Class of 2010. He is rated the No. 60 prospect overall and No. 15 point guard prospect by Rivals.com.
Florida: The Gators already missed out on Jones, who picked the UA over Florida after being released from his letter-of-intent at USC. Donovan has 5-11 sophomore Erving Walker as his starting point guard and Walker will not relinquish that spot easily. Highly-rated freshman Kenny Boynton, a 6-2 combo guard, is of the same mold as Jones — he can play either backcourt position well.
Detroit: The Titans have senior point guard Woody Payne, who won’t be around next season. McCallum obviously would be in a strong position to start at point guard and not only because his dad is the coach there. Freshman guard Jason Caliste of Ontario, Canada, was a 4-star recruit by Scout.com but he will probably not have an extended role with the Titans this season.