College basketball coaches were able to make home visits with players in the junior class last month, and 6-foot-4 wing J.P. Macura was booked so solid that he had trouble recalling all the schools that made the trip to Minneapolis to huddle with him and his family.
“Let’s see, there was Creighton, Saint Louis, Dayton …. I know there was another one, but I can’t think of who it was right now,” he said.
Macura’s fuzzy memory is understandable, given how intensely he’s being recruited. After playing mostly junior varsity as a sophomore at Lakeville North High School, his stock began to soar during AAU play last year, and it rose even more when he led his team to a state tournament berth as a junior and averaged 25.5 points.
Minnesota, Kansas State and Iowa State are among the other schools that have jumped into the mix. But Macura was impressed with UD coach Archie Miller and assistant Tom Ostrom after meeting them in person and watching video of how the Flyers play.
“First of all, I think they’re great people. They’re straight-up guys. They’re honest with you,” he said. “I really don’t know how they coach, but from what they say, it seems like (the players) run their lanes and spread the court, which is good.
“I’m going to talk to my dad, and we’re going to find a date this summer to go to Dayton for sure.”
UD has three scholarships to give in the 2014 class, and while “bigs” are a top priority, the coaches are targeting skilled wings, too.
Lakeville coach John Oxton believes Macura fits that description.
“He’s a gifted offensive player, no question about that,” Oxton said. “He had to pay his dues and watch from the sidelines. Going into his AAU season after that sophomore year, he just kind of exploded and went from a jayvee player to having nine Division I scholarships. That doesn’t happen very often.”
The Flyers suffered a recruiting setback when Elida shooting guard Dakota Mathias committed to Purdue last weekend, but they’ve been pursuing other perimeter players of similar stature.
Victor Law, a 6-7 junior from St. Rita High School in Chicago, is ranked 67th in the Rivals.com list of top-150 players. He just took an official visit to Georgia Tech and also made a trip to Harvard.
The UD coaches had a home visit with Law and are considered high on his list.
“Archie and those guys are doing a great job in recruiting him. … They’re heavily, heavily involved,” St. Rita coach Gary DeCesare said. “They did a great presentation. I know the family at some point wants to get down there.”
Asked about Law’s strengths, DeCesare said: “The great thing about Victor is his versatility — the ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot and pass at 6-7. … He’s a fundamental player. He definitely works at that, and I think he has a chance to be a really, really good one. He has a very high ceiling.”