Amanze Egezeke is a 6-foot-7, 180-pound forward from Huntley, Illinois. His length and talent have caught the eye of several Big Ten teams, including Michigan, Purdue and Illinois. The high school sophomore was in Ann Arbor for the Eastern Michigan football game two weeks ago on an unofficial visit. Here’s what he had to say about his game and the recruiting process so far:
How would you describe your game? I would say I’m more of a wing forward. With my high school team, I’m forced to play more of a four or five because of lack of height, but as far as AAU, coach tried to develop me into more of a three. So I’ve been working a lot with ball handling and really have been trying to perfect my shot. I’ve definitely improved with my midrange game and am hoping to get a little more consistent from the three, too. But I have range from out there too.
Biggest strength? I’ve played post my whole life, prior to last year. So I have pretty advanced post moves, and I’m pretty good at getting to the rim against bigger defenders, and also pulling up from mid-range.
So you think you’d play the three in college then? Yeah, I definitely think so.
What schools are recruiting you so far? I’ve gotten some interest from Illinois, Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin. I’ve visited Purdue, Illinois and Michigan so far. Wisconsin is just recently starting to show some interest. I’ve gotten letters from schools all over the Big Ten, and some schools outside. I’m probably going to be setting up a visit soon with Wisconsin and another school too hopefully.
Any scholarship offers? No, not yet.
You said you visited Michigan. When was that? Two weeks ago.
How’d it go? It was a nice visit. The guys showed us around and I got to hang out with the players. Jon Horford really kind of came and he talked to me and my parents, and we got to know him pretty well. He showed me around, took us down to the arena. I got to see at least the basics of it, went into the locker rooms and stuff. That was nice and then after that, Coach Beilein just talked to us and introduced all of the players, and then we went into the game (football game against Eastern Michigan). That was probably one of the coolest parts of it, because that was probably the biggest amount of people I’ve seen in my life. It was nice.
What’d you think of the coaches and the players? I definitely liked the players. I think there’s a good standard in players there. All the players that are good and they have to be good in the classroom too. That’s something my parents really like. The coaches are really cool. They were the kind of coaches I like to be around, ones that are open and real with you. I like Coach Beilein a lot and Coach Jordan. They were all really welcoming.
What do you know about the Michigan basketball team? Judging by the people I saw there, they’re somewhat of a big team but at the same time they’re a little bit undersized too. So I’m assuming that their play style would compliment mine pretty good because of my versatility.
Based on what you’ve seen so far, are there one or two schools that stand out? It’s a little bit early. I can’t really speak much of the other schools that are showing interest, because I’ve only visited three. I would say out of the three, I think as far as the campus I would say Michigan had the nicest campus. I learned a lot more about Michigan when I was at Michigan. I think it’s heading in the right direction for sure.
Any player that people compare you to? People where I’m from compare me to Kevin Durant a little bit. I respect him a lot. I try to model my game to him as close as possible. I think his body and my body are very similar, so I just kinda figure things out the way I think he would’ve. I’m really trying to get to that level to be able to shoot off the dribble, midrange, and know it’s going in all the time.
Once you get around to making a decision, what’s the main criteria you’re looking for in a school? I’d say probably three things. One would be where I feel comfortable. I know that a lot of these schools, they’ll say nice things now and then once you get there it’s something totally new. So I’ll definitely go based on how comfortable I am from the start, how much I trust the coaches. Obviously the second thing would be, is this school a good place as far as basketball? Are they gonna get opportunities to win? Am I gonna play, gonna get to show my skills? And the third thing would be academics of course, and my family too. I’ll go to them for support too. They always stress I’ve gotta go to a place that is gonna give me a good education. I definitely think all the schools right now have a little bit of that, some more than others.
Any idea when you’d like to make a decision? I think the first school that offers me, obviously I’m going to naturally think a little more about that one, because they were the first ones to actually hand out that offer and say, ‘Okay, we want you for real. We want you now.’ So that’ll be a factor. Once the offers start coming in, I’d go back to those three things. I have to go through high school first and see how well the season goes, but I’m expecting to hopefully have a decision by the end of next year.