Duke '17 MN SG - Gary Trent Jr. (Duke Verbal)

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    Rivals.com$

    Trent Jr. grabbing Duke's attention
    Brian McLawhorn

    Devils Illustrated
    [​IMG]
    Gary Trent Jr. is just a sophomore, but the 6-foot-5 combo guard from Apple Valley (Minnesota) High School has had his name etched in the notebooks of college coaches for quite some time.
     
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    High school basketball: Gary Trent Jr. stepping out from father's shadow
    By Marcus R. Fullermfuller@pioneerpress.com
    Posted: 05/22/2015 12:01:00 AM CDT | Updated: 2 days ago

    [​IMG]
    Apple Valley's Gary Trent Jr. leaps high to dunk the ball against Omaha Central in the first game of the Minnesota Timberwolves Shootout at Target Center on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. Apple Valley beat Omaha Central, 79-50. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)
    Attending Timberwolves games and hanging around the locker room at the end of his father's NBA career, Gary Trent Jr. couldn't help but wonder if he could ever be as good a basketball player as his dad.
    Now, 11 years later, they won't even play a serious game of 1-on-1.
    "I can take him off the dribble," said Trent, who will play with Howard Pulley at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League at Maple Grove Community Gymnasium. "It's really not a competition anymore. It's almost like playing my little brother."
    That's not quite true, said Trent Sr., an NBA player from 1995-2004. At 6 feet 8 and over 250 pounds, he has three inches and 50 pounds on his son and will only occasionally post up him up during training sessions that have been going on for more than a decade.
    "I want to let him keep his pride and feel good," he said with a smile.
    But confidence isn't an issue for the young Trent. The Apple Valley sophomore is a highly touted guard attracting close attention from programs such as Duke, Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan State and, of course, Minnesota.
    Trent is picking up where Tyus Jones left off, putting Apple Valley and Minnesota high school basketball on the national radar in summer AAU leagues.
    With his long-range shooting, aggressive drives and advanced basketball IQ, Trent leads the EYBL in scoring with 23.9 points a game. That includes a 43-point outburst against an AAU team featuring Kentucky coach John Calipari's son in Houston.
    "My dad," Trent said, "has given me my whole game.
    Every shot, every dribble and every move I work on is with him."
    DIFFERENT PATHS
    Trent was putting up 30 points in youth league games as early as age 7 in Ohio, where he was born. By the time he was playing for his father in fifth grade, he would lead the Apple Valley traveling team to multiple state titles.
    The games were so much easier than workouts with his dad, which sometimes came three times a day.
    "Morning you can do all movement and conditioning shots," Trent Sr. explained. "In the afternoon, you may do all catch-and-shoot shots. And then in the evening you might do situational and pick-and-roll shots."
    While doing mile runs on the track, Trent would drop and do 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups every 100 meters.
    To this day, father and son have a shooting drill in which they keep track only of made shots. Sometimes the goal is up to 1,000 before it's over.
    "He always told me from Day One that if you work hard, then good things will come out of it," Trent said. "Ever since I was 5, I had a dream of playing in college and on the big stage in the NBA."
    The elder Trent didn't play organized basketball until he was a sophomore at Hamilton Township High School in Columbus, Ohio. He was far from the player who later would be nicknamed "The Shaq of the MAC" while destroying the competition in the Mid-American Conference at Ohio in the early to mid-1990s.
    The jaw-dropping athleticism and toughness was there early, but at 16, Trent Sr. was 6-3 and 190 pounds. His son (6-5 and nearly 200 pounds) already is bigger than he was at the same age.
    "He's one of the premier players in the country when I was just picking up basketball," Trent Sr. said. "My son has had 11 years of professional NBA training, and he's only 16 now. So he's so many years ahead of me in his understanding. His IQ. It's just a matter of time. If he keeps putting in the hours, what he wants will happen."
    NEXT BIG THING
    When Apple Valley played Chicago's Whitney Young in a nationally televised game on ESPN two years ago, the featured matchup was Jones against his future Duke teammate Jahlil Okafor.
    But Trent, only a freshman, opened eyes with a team-high nine points after nailing a few three-pointers in the first half.
    Playing on the varsity squad for two seasons alongside Jones helped boost his confidence to take over in a leadership role as a sophomore.
    "I was blessed to have a chance to play with Tyus," Trent said. "He would just put me in the right spot and tell me where to go, what to do in this situation and what not to do."
    Trent went from averaging 10 points as a freshman starter in 2013-14 to 23.8 points and 7.7 rebounds this season for the Eagles, who beat undefeated Champlin Park for the Class 4A state championship.
    "Gary really puts the time in," Apple Valley coach Zach Goring said. "He has worked on his body, as well. He's in the weight room pretty consistently. He works on all aspects of his game. His father helps a ton with his development. I'm not surprised at how much he's taking off. We knew he was going to be an incredible player."
    ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi said Trent is one of the rising players to watch in the 2017 class.
    "He was a teammate as a freshman of Tyus Jones at Apple Valley High School, and at that time I could see the upside in his game, in his scoring instincts," Biancardi said. "Now Trent Jr. is blowing up as an elite scoring guard in the class.
    "What makes him hard to guard is that he's dangerous with the ball and coming off screens. His bloodlines are strong."
    RECRUITMENT IS OPEN
    Minnesota coach Richard Pitino offered Trent a scholarship after a summer camp at the U last year, but Trent Sr. said the Gophers "haven't really recruited him hard."
    Could it be the Gophers don't think they have a shot?
    "They offered him a scholarship and made some phone calls, but they haven't really been recruiting him," his father said. "I don't know what any school's plan of recruitment is. I don't know what any program is thinking. But my son is open to any school; that's No. 1. And No. 2, if you're trying to become an elite school, you'll never be elite until you recruit with that mind-set."
    Recruits can call coaches any time they want. But coaches can't contact recruits or their parents/legal guardians off campus until June 15 after their sophomore year.
    Trent, though, says he likes what Pitino is building with a talented young team at Minnesota, saying: "I see a lot of great things happening. If they keep it up, they'll have a great future."
    But Ohio State has always appeared to be the favorite, considering the Trent family is from Columbus. Trent Sr. played at Ohio with Buckeyes assistant coach Jeff Boals, who is almost like a part of the family.
    "I understand people say that because I'm originally from Columbus, Ohio," Trent said. "But everything is open. I'm open to all options."
    On Howard Pulley's team this spring, Trent played with high school teammates Cameron Kirksey and Brock Bertram. Other local standouts with the Panthers include Champlin Park's Theo John and Maple Grove's Brad Davidson.
    Trent has had to carry a heavier load offensively with Hopkins 2016 standout Amir Coffey recovering from a knee injury, but it has allowed him to show he's ready to step out of his father's massive shadow and become a great player in his own right.
    "I have a very long way to go, but it's good to see people are starting to see the hard work you put in just by the way you play," Trent said. "If I just keep up maintaining how I've been playing, and keep playing hard, then hopefully more and more attention will come."
     
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    Trent Jr. Blogs About His Recruitment
    Gary Trent Jr.'s ascent up the recruiting rankings reflects his AAU and international performance over the last three months.
    The leading scorer on the Nike EYBL circuit is now dealing with the consequences of his breakout summer.
    "Before the summer started, I had offers from Minnesota, Texas Tech and Providence. Now I’ve got offers Duke, Kentucky, Ohio State, Florida State, Michigan State, Alabama, Kansas and a lot of other schools," Trent Jr. said, in his USA Today blog. "It’s crazy how things happened so fast."
    Trent Jr. is, arguably, the most hyped prospect in his class and it comes at a point when coaches can now reach out to players in his class directly. Trent Jr. said he had around 150 messages from an assortment of college coaches after winning the FIBA Americas U16 championship in Argentina.
    His Archer-like voicemail greeting probably served to annoy a few coaches.
    "I always had a voicemail setup since I was younger that would trick people. I’d be like, 'Hello? Hello?' and the person calling me would always think I was there," he wrote. "I got the Oregon and Stanford coaches with that one!"
     
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    '17 shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. has Ohio State among his favorites in his recruitment so far, and is ranked in the top 10 for the 247Sports Composite Rankings at ninth. The five-star is ranked as the ninth-best player in the country overall, the second-best shooting guard in the nation, and the best player at any position from the state of Minnesota.

    Trent's 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions look somewhat nice for Ohio State, as the Buckeyes only slightly trail Duke (69 percent to 31 percent). Trent Jr. holds offers from nearly all of the top programs in the country, including Alabama, Kentucky, Arizona, Baylor, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oregon, Providence, Duke, and is receiving interest from Purdue and Wisconsin.
     
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