I had the opportunity over the weekend to talk to Maeshon Witherspoon, who is the mother of super-recruit Josh Selby. Selby will be taking an official visit to UK’s January 2nd matchup against UL. We talked about who they are currently considering, what they have enjoyed so far with their visits, and what they expect to enjoy when they arrive in Lexington this weekend. Here’s some highlights from that discussion:
Dustin Rumbaugh: How has Josh’s high school season been going so far?
Maeshon Witherspoon: It’s been an adjustment coming from the team where he had a lot of guys there and the changes from the Catholic league where he had a lot of games to the public league where he’s limited in the amount of games he can play. Like right now, there’s a snow storm and because Baltimore city’s public schools are closed the games are canceled, whereas in the Catholic league, even if the schools are closed, you still were able to play. Just the traveling thing, like Josh and them played in so many different tournaments in his three years of high school that the public schools couldn’t do. The one thing about this team is it’s a good nucleus of guys. Coach “Tree” [Herman “Tree” Harried] is definitely a good motivator and he’s going to be in shape for whatever program get’s him next year.
DR: Tell me a little bit about the Indiana visit and how that went?
Maeshon Witherspoon: Indiana was not what I expected. I’ll say that first. The atmosphere was kinda crazy. We went there and they had a little dance off and the fans actually recognized Josh right away. We went to the arena and you know there’s a lot of history and a lot of tradition in Indiana. The one thing that we will pay close attention to is how those guys win, which they are almost at neck and neck with their season at where they were last season. With Indiana that is a young and up and coming program so we have to figure out what we are going to do with that team but I like Tom Crean. Coach Crean is definitely an X and O type of coach.
DR: What about the KU visit and the return visits?
Maeshon Witherspoon: Looking at his schedule with his high school coach, because they are in season as well as the college basketball teams, the one game that Josh will probably get to attend for his official visit will be the Iowa State game. Yes, Kansas fans are fanatic about Kansas but, in spite of all of that, Coach Self has done a real good job of building a rapport with Josh so hopefully we can take and get that cleared away with Josh’s schedule as well as with Kansas’ schedule and that date is a possibility.
DR: The UK-IU game, did you get a chance to watch it and what did you think about each team and how Josh would fit in with those offenses and defenses?
Maeshon Witherspoon: Well watching the UK games, it’s not just the Indiana game, I’ve actually got a chance to watch Kentucky play a lot this year, more so than Josh has because some of the games have been early and he’s been at practice. Josh is kind of like a John Wall, he’s real athletic, uptempo type of guard, so seeing what John Wall is doing in the dribble-drive offense is something that is great. We kind of played against John Wall years ago when Josh was in 10th grade and John Wall has definitely matured into a great player. Whatever he has done during the off-season has worked for him. I think John would have been successful wherever he went to school because he was just a great player even back then.
DR: Syracuse, let’s move onto them. You guys have talked about you could visit them at any time because you guys are so close. Are they still on the list and are you guys still impressed with them?
Maeshon Witherspoon: Syracuse is Syracuse, you know what I’m saying? He’s had a great relationship with recruiting guys from Baltimore and Jim Boeheim has been very successful with them. We still have not planned a date yet to visit Syracuse but we definitely like their style of play. They have a lot of guards there that definitely can handle the ball and they have some great guys coming in. So that is basically the issue with Syracuse, we’re just sitting back and watching to see how those guys pan out.
DR: The UK visit coming up against UL, can you tell me what you are looking forward to? What Josh is looking forward to? Anybody he’s looking forward to hanging out with? Just what you guys are expecting and what you’re looking forward to seeing?
Maeshon Witherspoon: Definitely looking forward to the fans and seeing how the fans are with their basketball team. Most people don’t realize that I do read the message boards, so I read a lot of the Rivals message board. A lot of the fans are crazy and passionate about their team. So I’m definitely going to see how the fans are. I want more than anything to see the facilities because I was actually in Kentucky a while ago and actually just drove through the campus so I want to see the facilities. Sit down and talk to the academic people. I think with Josh, the main thing for Josh right now with Kentucky is basically just building a relationship with the coaching staff and the players as well. Unfortunately the players that he does know on that team, John Wall and Demarcus Cousins, are the two players that could possibly be gone at the end of the year, one definitely and one is up in the air. Josh’s thing is he wants to form a relationship with the players and as well with the coaching staff so that’s going to be real big with the schools that are remaining on his list, to land him, is the relationship that they have with him. He’s going to have to feel that coach wants him and wants him to be a part of the program and is going to have his back just like Josh is going to have that coach’s back to go out there and perform at the highest level to win basketball games.
DR: With the decision time, are you guys still up in the air on that?
Maeshon Witherspoon: Well I think, just because we are in our season right now and we are trying to get as many visits out of the way, it wouldn’t be fair right now for us to say Josh is going to commit right now and I have not looked at every school on his list. You know you can always commit sooner rather than later. So if we can get all of the visits out of the way, possibly see every school once or twice, we can go from there. I guess the main thing is to at least get an initial visit with every school that is on his list so that he has something to compare and contrast to.
DR: Arizona, you guys are going to visit them January 9th and they are definitely in it?
Maeshon Witherspoon: Yes
DR: I’ve went through Kansas, Indiana, Syracuse, UK and Arizona. Is that all the schools that you guys are considering or is there others that have popped up?
Maeshon Witherspoon: There’s others that have popped up but that doesn’t mean that we are considering those schools at this time. The one thing about it is as any more guards start to commit that is on some of these school’s radar and they don’t get one and Josh and Brandon [Knight] or Josh is the last one standing, a lot more schools are going to arise. Some schools have called that we are probably going to look more in to. [We’re] not sure of anything yet, we are basically just sitting back watching the teams play, feeling out who is calling, using that two phone calls a week to develop that relationship with Josh and just who is laying that ground work down.
I’d like to thank Maeshon Witherspoon for taking the time to talk to me about Josh. Make sure that you guys continue to check out the video diary that Josh is doing with CourtCred.com. The 5th episode was just released this week and is the 2nd part of Maeshon addressing some of the rumors surrounding Josh’s recruitment. Great stuff so make sure you guys check it out.