When prospects hear from college coaches, they usually hear the same old recruiting pitch. But for class of 2014 small forward Jalen Lindsey, he takes advantage of those conversations so he can continue to work on his game.
“They tell me what I can improve on a lot,” Lindsey told NRS. “They tell me the good things and positive things but they also tell me the negative things that help me. I’m blessed to have that and have college coaches tell me all of these things.”
Among other pointers, the coaches advise him on how to take defenders off the dribble better and how he should improve his ball-handling. Although the main purpose of these conversations is to learn what he needs to work on, he also learns about each coach that is recruiting him.
“Definitely [Alabama head] coach [Anthony] Grant has been there to tell me some of that stuff, [head] coach [Ed] Cooley from Providence and [head] coach [Rick] Pitino has been telling me that stuff too,” Lindsey said. “It means a lot because it means they all care. It’s a good thing to hear and I have to continue to work on what these coaches are telling me so I can have a complete game.”
Lindsey has accumulated 17 offers so far from schools like Mississippi State, Alabama, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida, Ohio State, Missouri, Louisville, Providence and Auburn. The 6’6, 200-pound Tennessee native has also drawn interest from Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and more recently LSU.
“Kentucky, Kansas and UNC have been on me pretty good but they have not offered yet,” Lindsey added. “I am waiting that they’ll hopefully offer. I’m definitely hoping all of those offer and maybe even Duke. They all have great history, they’ve all been to the Final Four, they all have great schools, they all have great coaches and they’ve all won national championships.”
Among all of the schools recruiting him, one school in particular has been after him the hardest. Because of that, Lindsey has also developed a great relationship with that coaching staff.
“Providence has been coming after me the hardest,” he added. “That definitely means a lot that they’re recruiting me so hard because you keep them high in consideration. I’ve gotten the best relationship with the Providence staff and Louisville staff because they talk to me the most. I have a good bond with [assistant] coach [Kevin] Keatts and coach Pitino from Louisville and [assistant] coach [Bob] Simon and coach Cooley from Providence.”
Providence is also a school that fits exactly what Lindsey wants in a program. The Christ Presbyterian Academy (TN) junior is looking at several things when considering his future college and academics is something that’s clearly important to him.
“Academics is one of the biggest things for me because you never know when basketball will stop; I definitely want to get my degree,” Lindsey said. “I’m also looking at the facilities, the way the players and the coaches have relationships and if I can go talk to the coaches and if it’s like a family.
“Right now, I would say Providence fits that description the best since they’re recruiting him the hardest. They’ve been communicating to me a lot so I’d definitely say Providence fits in that description.”
Although he thinks the Friars fit well into what he wants in his future college, Lindsey says no one stands out. To get a better idea of which program is best for him, he’s starting to take more unofficial visits. A trip to the state of Kentucky to watch a family member play is his next one up.
“I’m going to Louisville [January] 19th to see Syracuse play which my cousin — [senior guard] Brandon Triche — plays on, so that will be fun,” Lindsey added. “I also definitely want to get down to Florida, Kentucky and Kansas. Kentucky, I hear they have a great program. I’d love to see them in person and [freshman wing] Alex Poythress is one of my really good friends from Tennessee. I’d love to see him play and meet [head] coach [John] Calipari. I’d love to see those other schools to travel, see what they have to offer academically and watch them play in person.”
Lindsey has already visited Vanderbilt, Louisville, Tennessee and Providence and doesn’t know when he’ll make the trip to see any of those schools outside of Louisville because of his packed schedule. He also has no timetable for when he wants to commit but would like to attend college with one of his friends.
“Me and [class of 2014 point guard] Emmanuel Mudiay are thinking of going to college together,” Lindsey said. “We’ve been talking a lot about it and we’ve clicked when we play on the same team together. We like the way each other plays and we text which schools we like. Me and Emmanuel are really good friends and definitely want to go to school together.”
Although many prospects say the same thing but “package deals” and most end up committing to different schools, Lindsey thinks it’s a legitimate possibility and may even get more class of 2014 players on board.
“Right now, I think it’s pretty likely because we want to play together,” he added. “I’d love to play with him and love to have him as a guard. I really hope it works out. He said he was going to talk to [center] Cliff Alexander and [shooting guard] Rashad Vaughn to play with us too.”