Karl Towns is a 6-foot-11 phenom from New Jersey in the class of 2015 who is being recruited by a who’s who of college basketball powerhouses. Towns is extremely versatile and can distribute the ball as well as score and rebound. Michigan is in the running for the talented forward and has some unique connections to the youngster, and we caught up with Towns last night to discuss his recruitment.
Can you describe your game?
“I think I would describe my game to them more as an outside, versatile player who can play any position the coach wants me to. I just think that altogether I’m just a workhouse who trys to show everyone I can do whatever they want and at the same time I can play any position at a high level.”
Who’s recruiting you?
“Michigan is always up there, Rutgers, Kentucky, Ohio State, Texas, Duke, Florida, Seton Hall, North Carolina.”
Any offers yet?
“It’s so wild right now, I’m not really looking at the offers, just seeing what schools are interested in me.”
Do you have a list?
“It’s so early in the recruiting process that I’m open to everybody and all the schools are on my map. But I always liked Michigan when I was a child, so I always root behind big Blue.”
What kind of things are you looking for in a school?
“I’m looking for a great academic program, a great basketball program, obviously, and at the same time a great tradition and a community where I can really see myself fitting in and helping other people.”
It’s been reported that you’re a pretty big Michigan fan. Can you tell me how that came about?
“It’s funny because when I was younger I was always a big video game fan and my dad brought me up on video games and that’s how my sports fetish started, with all the video games. Living in a sports-filled house, with my sister playing basketball and my dad being a coach and my mom being supportive of all of us, I always used to play a lot of college football games. But I never used to have the money to buy all the new ones every year, so I actually had one for a good few years and I just rolled with it. In the game I would always play as Michigan because I could beat my dad with the team, and ever since then every Michigan team has just followed me everywhere I went. Ever since then I’ve kept up with Michigan football all the time and I kept up with basketball, too. When I was younger my dad always told me about the Fab Five and would watch movies about all of them: Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and all the freshmen. It was just a dream of mine to show my dad that I could be a part of that kind of team of freshmen and the tradition there at Michigan.”
How much of an impact does being a Michigan fan have on your recruitment?
“Being a Michigan fan has definitely impacted my recruitment, but at the same time I have to look at the big picture and do what’s best for my family and me and at the end of the day I know a lot about Michigan history but I’ve never really been there. I’ll have to take a visit and see how God works and how that goes for me.”
So you watch a lot of Michigan basketball, then?
“Well, I watch Tim Hardaway Jr. Actually, I always play NBA 2k12 with my friends and they always talk about how I play with the old school players and I always play with his dad Timmy Hardaway. They’re always talking about how great his son is, how he’s one of the best guards in the country. You know, it’d be cool to play with him.”
Which coaches from Michigan have been talking to you?
“Lavall Jordan, Coach Beilein and everyone is just doing a great job. It makes me really want to visit the school it’s just so hard because there’s just a lot I have to do right now. I’m trying out for the Dominican National U19 Team so it’s just a hard thing.”
Have the coaches been to any of your games this summer?
“I think they saw me play AAU in Pittsburgh.”
Can you tell me some strengths of your game?
“My dad taught me how to be a guard, so I’ve worked really hard to be a good passer and to have a good jumpshot so I could have the ability to stretch the floor out a lot. A lot of people see me and think I’m more of a post-up player than a 3-point player, so I use that always to my advantage.”
How has the AAU season gone so far?
“It’s gone really well. You finish with the high school season, and you just can’t wait to get on the court. Mostly I’m just using this time to make myself better, to be an even better player. I’ve always been really skinny so I’ve been trying to get bigger and take conditioning seriously and doing everything to get bigger and become a better player.”
Are you planning on visiting Michigan any time soon?
“Soon, I am, but I don’t know when I’m going to. Maybe next year I’ll be able to come down for a nice visit.”