By JACK LeGWIN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
ORLANDO, Fla. — Playing in front of a crowd that included over 50 college coaches, most notably Tom Izzo of Michigan State, Bill Self of Kansas and Duke assistant Nate James, Justise Winslow helped Houston Hoops to a blowout win over Atlanta Xpress, 89-56, in the 17U Gold Super Showcase on Wednesday evening.
As first reported last week by SNY.tv, the 6-foot-6 Winslow received an offer from Kentucky after Peach Jam. After Wednesday’s win, he spoke with SNY.tv about the Kentucky offer.
“For me it would mean the same as playing for any other coach,” Winslow said. “Whatever coach I end up playing for is going to be a person that I will look up to for guidance. [Kentucky coach John Calipari] is a good coach, but there are a lot of other good coaches out there.”
Winslow also said that he has been speaking with Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor about playing together at the next level, but he’s not concrete on the idea.
Many in the industry believe Jones and Okafor will land at Duke, but the Kentucky offer to Winslow raises the possibility that all three players could potentially land in Lexington.
“It would be great for that to happen. But I’m on a different path, so are Jahlil and Tyus,” Winslow said of the package deal in general. “But if all of those pieces fall together, that would be great. It’s something that we are talking about, but I’m not 100 percent on it like they are.”
Houston Hoops coach Tim Schumacher told SNY.tv of the potential package:
“Here’s what happens, I mean Justise and Jahlil were roommates on the 19-and-under team this year and then last year Justise and Tyus and Jahlil all were on on the 17U team and they’ve just become really close,” Schumacher said.
“And if you talk to those kids, they all have the same temperament and the same personalities, I mean you could understand how they get along. And they play the game a similar style. They all are smart and they play together and they really like the way they play, so I think it makes a lot of sense for them to be that way because they do have such similar personalities and similar type games.”
Winslow recently cut his list to 10 schools – Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Florida, Houston, Kansas, North Carolina, Stanford, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Now Kentucky appears to be in the mix, too, but Winslow says that no school has taken an upper hand in his mind.
“I have about 11-12 schools right now that are equal,” Winslow said.