I’m late to the party, but I spoke last night with Ray Forsett, the basketball coach at Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep. His star player is Nick Russell, who took an official visit to Kansas State over the weekend.
Here are the highlights of the conversation:
- Who is Nick Russell? “Great kid, great kid, great kid,” Forsett said. “Great in the classroom, a 3.4 GPA, and our school is real tough, a tough private school. You couldn’t recruit a better kid. He’s a leader for us here at Grace. He’s a kid who could be a great role model. How many “greats” was that?
- Russell, a 6-4 point guard, averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for Grace, which lost in the state championship for the second consecutive season.
- The coach was asked to describe his star’s style. “He’s silky smooth,” Forsett said. “He’s a tall point who likes to get his teammates involved. Tremendous vision, but he can score. He can shoot.” Asked for a comparison to a current college or pro player, he said, “Shaun Livingston. He’s just real smooth. He knows when to run, when to push the ball and see the floor great.”
- Forsett said Russell isn’t waiting to see what shakes out with UCLA. That’s not to say he isn’t interested, but his heart isn’t set on a visit to Cali. UCLA has already come in for an in-home visit. Speaking of which, K-State almost brought the whole staff on its visit. Matt Figger, the lead guy, and Dalonte Hill were there, and Frank Martin also tagged along. “It was a great visit,” he said.
- He couldn’t speak for the Bruins, but Forsett got the impression that Russell is a big priority for K-State, Texas Tech, Iowa and nearby SMU, which is coached by Matt Doherty. “They’re all saying he’s going to come in and play substantially right away, and he’s trying to take it all in,” Forsett said. “He likes all of the guys, everyone recruiting him.”
- Forsett and Russell took in K-State’s game last year at Baylor. In case you somehow forgot what happened that day, allow Forsett to explain. “Mike (Beasley) went for 40 and Bill (Walker) had 35,” he said. No mention that the Wildcats lost, though.
- There is no timetable for a decision. “It’s going to be a situation of how he feels at the moment,” Forsett said. “We’re having discussions about the situation. The biggest thing will be trust, who or which staff he trusts the most in the process.” But he did muse aloud that a 2009 class of Wally Judge, Rodney McGruder, Jordan Henriquez and Russell, a Rivals three-star recruit, would be “top 5 in the country.”
- And Forsett is friends with Frank Martin from his days in Florida. Apparently his dad and Frank go way back. “Frank’s a great guy,” he said.