Recruiting can often be a strange ride. First a youngster may have just a few schools offering scholarships, then after a really good summer of impressive performances, BAM! Suddenly that same youngster’s recruitment multiplies to ten times what it was prior.
That is what has happened to Normal (IL) University high standout Keita Bates-Diop. Scout.com’s #7 PF had his versatility on full display during the AAU season and his phone hasn’t seen a peaceful day since.
“It was a lot to get used to… dealing with all the phone calls but my parent really helped me to slow things down so that we can handle things at our own pace,” said Bates-Diop. “We talk about every three weeks about how recruiting is affecting me as well reevaluating where we are in the process. My parents have been there every step of the way.”
With recruiting now more manageable and his season approaching, Bates-Diop’s thoughts have turned to making a decision. What is clear is that he is not making it because he is pressured.
“I will be making my decision around the beginning of basketball season because I feel comfortable with that,” he stated. “I am ready to move on to the next phase of my life."
When asked if he had a particular school in mind, his pause before answering were somewhat telling.
Said Bates-Diop, “I am just still thinking about what I want to do but that is the time I feel I will be ready to make a decision.”
The schools that are in his wheel house at this time are all from the Big Ten.
“The colleges that I am looking at in no particular order are Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue,” he reported. “I have had the opportunity to be around and get to know the coaching staffs and I am quite comfortable with all of them.”
Bates-Diop insists that all the programs are still under consideration and gave positive reviews on each of them.
Illinois – “They have a new coaching staff that has really come after me in terms of recruiting. I speak with Coach Groce and Coach Parham and I have gotten to know them pretty well.
Michigan- “Michigan was one of the very first schools on me early. I have a very good relationship with their staff. I have talked with Coach Beilein and assistant coach lavall jordan. We talk as well not always about basketball but just other things. They are coming after me hard.”
Michigan State – “They have a great program that goes deep into the tournament. I have talked with their staff. I talked with Coach Izzo and assistant coach Dane Fife. I had a nice visit going up to Lansing.”
Ohio State – “They keep in contact with me I am building a strong relationship with them. In the summer is when things started picking up. I like their playing style and there is a nice environment up there in Columbus.”
Purdue – “Purdue was one of the first schools on me early. I like the way they play. They play hard. I have known them for a while. I speak with Coach Painter mostly and I also talk with assistant coach Owens. I am very comfortable with the staff up there.”
While the four-star prospect wouldn’t tip his hand regarding which school he is leaning toward, he did shed light on the factors that will determine the victor.
“Education is always going to be out front first and foremost with me and my parents because that is where it starts at,” he said. “Some of the little things I place a little value on are the coaching staff, my relationship with them, and how comfortable am I at the college that I attend.”
“There are no leaders at this time as a family we just continue to talk and research what would be the best place for me to attend college.”
Bates-Diop has never sought the attention that he has received. The young man is just not wired like that. He has enjoyed the process and he appreciates that, but he clearly covets the opportunity to get back to a bit of normalcy with his life. By making a decision in the next month or so will do just that.