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Reclassifying not for everyone

Top hoops juniors talk about waiting their turn



Whintey Young (Chicago) junior Jahlil Okafor is content being patient and waiting for his time to com. / AP

When New Hampton Prep (New Hampton, N.H.) forward Noah Vonleh reclassified from the class of 2014 to his original class of 2013 last September, it prompted a fair question: Who’s next?

Last June, Tilton (Tilton, N.H.) shooting guard Wayne Selden made the leap from 2014 to 2013 and in October, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) swingman Andrew Wiggins, followed suit.

After that, in December, the country’s top sophomore, St. Joseph (Metuchen, N.J.) center Karl Towns Jr. picked Kentucky and announced he’d be reclassifying to 2014 on the same day.

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“When you’re ready academically and physically,” Selden said, “why wait?”

Still, not every player is in a hurry to get to college.

Selden, Vonleh and Wiggins were consensus top 10 players in 2014, so we caught up with a handful of equally elite players from the 2014 class who are dead-set on remaining juniors and had them dish on the reasons jumping up a class isn’t for them.

Devin Booker, Moss Point (Moss Point, Miss.), SG, Uncommitted: “My situation was different than most kids that reclassify. I’m 15 as a junior and younger than most kids in my class. At my age, I feel like my body needs more development and maturity to compete at a major D-I university. But for guys like Vonleh and Wiggins, I feel like their skill set and physical abilities would help them excel on the next level.

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Emmanuel Mudiay, Prime Prep Academy (Dallas), PG, Uncommitted: “Sometimes I’m shocked when guys jump up like that. I’m still young and I’ve got more to learn. I’m definitely not rushing things. Everything is going well for me right now, and I’m in the class that I’m supposed to be in so I’m good where I’m at.”

Jahlil Okafor, Whitney Young (Chicago), C, Uncommitted: “I know that there’s a lot that goes in to why people reclassify, but I just can’t do that. My family wouldn’t allow it either. I’ve been blessed enough to have everything I need as a junior. I’ll just be patient and with faith in God my time will come.”

Theo Pinson, Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.), Uncommitted: “Honestly, there is no need to rush. This is just a good time for you to develop your game before you get to college. I say just wait for your time.”

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Tyus Jones, Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.), Uncommitted: “Well, I’m just not ready to commit. I have no idea where I’m going so that’s the biggest thing. Then of course I don’t want to rush anything because I love being around my family and friends and I definitely want to spend that time with them before I head off to college. Reclassifying just isn’t for me.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSATODAY.

 

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