Posted On: 08/22/19 6:01 AM
As the game of basketball continues to trend towards the ‘positionless’ era, the old school centers such as Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon and Wilt Chamberlain are being phased out. Bigs are now expected to be more versatile than ever by doing things such as shooting three’s, handling the ball and holding their own against guards defensively. With that being said, as young bigs come up in the high school ranks, they use their size to their advantage for easy baskets. While they should never turn a blind eye to their ability to score on the block, they’re now expected to become more dynamic as they loom closer to the collegiate level.
This goes for Josh Gray, a seven-foot center hailing from Brooklyn, New York, as well. The seven footer experienced a serious uptick in his recruitment this summer and is being courted by more than a handful of high major programs belonging to the power five conferences. I caught up with Gray at Will Barton Elite Camp to discuss his game and his recruitment:
PH: How was this spring and summer with the PSA Cardinals?
JG: I had a good spring and I finished out with a decent summer. We didn’t make it out of pool play for Peach Jam, but I did have a couple of good games and had colleges reach out to me.
PH: What were some things heading into the spring and summer that you wanted to improve on?
JG: I was just trying to work on my overall package.I already knew I could play on the inside, but I wanted to become more versatile because at the next level, a lot of players at my position are more versatile and that’s what coaches are looking for.
PH: You have eight offers currently (LSU, Florida State, UConn, Rutgers, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Georgia and Stony Brook). Are any schools starting to separate themselves?
JG: A lot of them stay in touch. Georgia and St. John’s have called a lot. I’ve just been so busy this summer. August was supposed to be my break month, but after this camp I’ll be free so I’ll have time to do my research on all of them and evaluate which are my favorites and stuff like that.
PH: What are the schools telling you they like about your game?
JG: My size, strength and my defensive IQ. I don’t jump for pump fakes and I always be sure to keep my verticality when I do jump up with a player. They like that I’m a smart big who doesn’t really get into foul trouble.
PH: Have you planned any visits? Do you have a timetable of when you want to make your decision?
JG: No I haven’t planned any visits yet. I’ll probably make a list by December at the latest and then my commitment will probably be around March.
PH: For someone who has never seen you play before, how would you describe your game?
JG: Rim-runner. Powerful inside. It doesn’t make sense if you foul me really, because I’ll make my free-throws. Like I said, I’m trying to extend my game. I have a mid-range game as well, but I feel like I have to get in the gym more and just get reps.