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Posted On: 02/4/19 12:00 PM
Whitney Young 2020 point guard DJ Steward played like the high-major player that he is on Saturday at the O’Fallon Shootout. The ultra-smooth combo guard is excellent at manipulating ball screens and setting his opponents up off the bounce to get what he wants out of each situation. Lived in the lane all night where he finishes with an array of acrobatic layups including up and unders along with and-1s through traffic. So fast with the ball in the open floor just flying down the floor! Got on the offensive glass for a few second chance points. He was very impressive defensively using his length to get steals and alter shots. Combination of quickness and length are going to allow him to be a plus defender. He had 23 points (11-22 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals.
Steward discussed his junior season at Whitney Young and where he has seen growth in his game.
“It is going pretty well. I am scoring pretty well. I am fitting in with the team and having a lot of fun. Playing good defense. I have gotten a lot more physical on defense. I can get to the paint at will and knock down shots.”
He made the move over from Fenwick where he went from the primary scorer to a team with two other high powered perimeter threats in Tyler Beard and Myles Baker. How has the transition gone?
“It is great. They help me and have brought me along. If I am not going they are going. If I am going they will get me the ball. We can just switch it off. We are the three headed monster so we can switch off.”
The state’s #2 junior updated us on the latest with his recruitment.
“Duke hit me up recently. Michigan State, Virginia, Louisville, and Illinois are staying in contact.”
He mentioned the schools that are making him feel like the biggest priority at this stage.
“Louisville. Texas for sure. Illinois, DePaul, Northwestern, and Virginia.”
Texas sent an assistant coach to watch him recently after Shaka Smart saw him play at the Chicago Elite Classic. The Longhorns recently offered him.
“I love Texas. I was watching one of their games earlier. They play hard and are a good team. Great program. Kevin Durant went there. Shaka Smart is trying to rebuild and said I can help.”
Louisville is another school that has been on him for a while.
“They stay in contact with me a lot with coach Luke Murray. Coach Mack hits me up every now and then. It is a great program and they are on a great run right now.”
Illinois has made him a priority trying to keep him in-state.
“It is the hometown. Coach Chin stays in contact. He used to coach at Whitney Young. He tries to get whenever he can. Coach Underwood tries to get up whenever he can. You know they bash him on the internet, but they do a real good job of coming to see me when they can.”
Northwestern and DePaul are two local programs that are making strong pushes for his services.
“Those are both great schools. Northwestern is a great academic school. DePaul has my former Meanstreets coach there so he contacts me a lot. Coach Leitao comes to the gym a lot.”
Any visits planned at this time?
“No visits planned right now. I would like to get down to Louisville, especially Illinois, and take an official to Texas.”
Steward discussed the next step in the recruiting process.
“Right now just keep playing and see what other coaches come in contact after this summer. Then I will narrow things down.”
Steward says he plans on narrowing things down after July, but he wants to take some early official visits.
“I will probably take a couple official visits in the spring.”