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Exclusive Interview with Net Gain Head Coach Marquise Watts

When Sam Dower committed to Gonzaga back in September, I don't think many people figured that the Twin Cities and the surrounding area would become a pipeline for Gonzaga recruiting. However, it seems that the coaching staff has its eyes on more talent from the Twin Cities, as potentially 5 recruits will be descending on Spokane for the Gonzaga Elite Camp beginning on June 26th. The premier AAU club in Minnesota belongs to a longtime friend of the blog, Net Gain head coach Marquise Watts. The Slipper Still Fits was able to catch up with Coach Watts yesterday to discuss his schedule for the Summer, as well as 3 of his players who will be at the Gonzaga elite camp (Cole Stefan will also be at the Elite Camp, but from what we understand is not being recruited by Gonzaga at this point). We would like to thank Coach Watts for taking the time for another terrific interview, and look forward to following Net Gain during another terrific summer of AAU basketball.

Slipper Still Fits: Chanse Creekmur will be one of 4 Net Gain guys at the elite camp. What caused his decommitment from Iowa, and what schools is he hearing from the most at this point. Who does he hold offers from?

Coach Watts: In talking with Chanse and his family, I believe that it just wasn't a good fit and he originally committed because it was a hometown thing but just turned out to not be a good fit.

I have had calls from Minnesota, Marquette, Oregon State, Arizona State, and Santa Clara since we started. I believe that Arizona State has offered and I know Santa Clara has. Minnesota and Marquette have not yet offered.

Slipper Still Fits: What makes Chanse such an intriguing and unique prospect, and what areas of his game do you think he really needs to work on? Will this summer be a chance for him to really show his game to a lot of schools?

Coach Watts: At 6'7'', he can shoot very well and can shoot against anybody, because everyone wants guys that can shoot, and with a 6'7'' guy he has lots of options on offense if he wants to stretch it out.  You can never have too many great shooters. 

Chanse is pretty strong being a QB for the football team, he is well put together and hits the weights a lot and is not shy of contact whatsoever.  At 6'7'' he is a wing that can put it on the floor but isn't a guy that technically has to put on weight.

Everyone that was watching Trent Lockett and Sam Dower last year saw him, but he was already committed to Iowa by August,  so I think a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised about his growth over the year.

I don't think he has to show anything, as schools liked him last year but he didn't give anyone else a chance except Iowa.  Gonzaga didn't miss a game of ours last year because of Sam so if any school got to see him last year, it was Gonzaga.

Slipper Still Fits: Joe Hanstad (in the video at the top) has been on our radar for awhile. How is Joe recovering from his injury, and what makes Joe such a talented offensive threat?

Coach Watts: He's still out with that injury.  I saw him early on in the season, but Joe is a guy that has all the pieces at 6'3'', he can score the ball and shoot it well but no one has really been able to see him hit the floor.  He's working out and everything but hasn't gotten the green light for the 5 on 5.  I think the first time he will be able to go 100% will be at Gonzaga's elite camp.

The funny thing is, because of the great HS season he had, Indiana, Oregon State, Minnesota, Colorado are on his radar because of his 26 or 27 point average.  Everyone knows about him and has seen him on tape and now it is time for a more in depth evaluation.

Slipper Still Fits: One of the question that surrounds Joe is the level of competition he plays against in North Dakota. In the limited amount you have had him, have you been impressed by how Joe has handled playing against the better competition.

Coach Watts: Let me just say this; He wouldn't be playing with us if he wasn't for real.  We play a national schedule and have great guards so to bring in an out of state guy, there is a level we expect, and we think Joe is ready for that level, no doubt.  His team was a team that had no business being in the state tourney and he led them there being the focal point of every opposing team.  He's got more than enough talent in himself.

Slipper Still Fits: It seems that Doug McDermott is flying under the radar at this point? Do you think that is true, and if so, why?

Coach Watts: Anyone who saw Doug before April must throw it out the window because I don't know  a kid besides Sam Dower that has gotten so much better in such a short time.  Doug is getting better every day.  He recently went 8-10 from three and put up 35, and he scored 38 points against the Atlanta Celtics.  Every tourney we have had he has been our leading scorer.  At 6'8'' he is so versatile and is just now scratching the surface.  Once he gets his confidence rolling, it's like whoa. Doug McDermott can flat out play.  He's just getting better and is always trying to get better.

Slipper Still Fits: Doug is in a unique situation, because his father is the head coach at Iowa St. Do you think he is a lock to end up playing for his dad,or is he truly open in this recruitment?

Coach Watts: Doug's situation is different than everybody else, because everyone is wondering about whether he will wind up with his dad and that causes people to shy away.

I think his recruitment is totally open.   His dad wants what is best for his son and I think it's open.  Whenever someone calls, I tell them to recruit Doug because he has earned the right to be recruited.

A lot of the Missouri Valley has called, with schools like Creighton and N. Iowa, and most of the Big Sky has been in touch.  A lot of high majors like the big east and big ten are starting to call about him though.

He's the classic case of the kid that continues to work and work and grow and grow and now he's 6'8'' and it is all starting to get put together.  In July, you will see his recruitment go through the roof.

Slipper Still Fits: Is there any current player that you could compare Doug's game to so that we can have a better image of the type of player he is?

Coach Watts: He's like a pick and pop guy and plays more like a 4/3.  He plays similar to, but has more of back to the basket game, as Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic.   He's long and plays that four spot but likes to be on the perimeter too.  He has crafty moves and passes the ball well.  He is just a versatile guy that is going to grow another inch or two.

Slipper Still Fits: What is Net Gain's schedule for the rest of this summer?

Coach Watts: We will be, for the first part of July, in the Midwest, in Chicago on July 9-11.  Then we go to Summer Jam in Milwaukee.  After that we go to Vegas for the Adidas 64 on the 22-26th.  Then, it's Phoenix at the end of July.  We did three of those last year and added the Chicago one.  We have four tourneys in July, two out west, and two in the Midwest.