While the state of Colorado is known for a number of things, producing a consistent crop of big-time division one basketball talent is not necessarily one of them. In fact, if you asked native Coloradans to name a few recent home-grown prospects that went on to play big time college basketball, most would say Chauncey Billups, some would say Matt Bouldin and possibly a few others but I would not expect that list to go much further past four or five names.
For prospects like 2014 guard Josh Perkins who have actually risen up and are on their way to a big-time college hoops, it can be a blessing and a curse. We recently caught up with Josh's father and AAU coach Randy Perkins who outlined what Josh's junior season in Colorado prep hoops has been like:
"Josh's high school team surpassed all expectations this year but, because he plays at Regis Jesuit, the expectation is to win a title," expressed Perkins, "The team only returned one starter in Josh Perkins and really played much better than anyone expected."
Regis Jesuit, which won three consecutive state titles from 2009-2011 lost in the 'Great 8' of the state tournament this season and finished with a very solid 21-5 record on the year. They were led all year long by Perkins, who averaged 25 points, 6 assists, and 7 rebounds per game. He put up these incredible numbers even though he was under a considerable amount of pressure...being the top prospect in a state tends to have that effect.
"Each and every game you knew the opposing coach had one thing in mind and that was to try and shut down Josh Perkins," he said. "Josh is driven by those who doubt him and he constantly feels the need to prove himself; he's incredibly competitive."
Josh has little to prove nationally as he has garnered the attention of basically every division one program and can just about pick any school he wants to go to across the country. He recently earned his fifth star from Scout.com and is in the top fifty in the Rivals.com rankings for 2014. With all of the exposure he has gotten over the past few months, there are still some things Randy wants his son to work on before heading off to college.
"I really want to work him on balancing his passion for the game with being a stronger leader," said Coach Randy. "He's such a competitive player but we need to work on not making excuses and not playing down to the level of the team around you, which has been some of the advice given by colleges recruiting Josh."
At this time, Josh is considering nine schools for the next phase his his life: Gonzaga, Arizona, Colorado, Denver, Duke, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Stanford. To date, the Lobos are the only school that has received an official visit but Coach Randy did say that a visit to Gonzaga after the NCAA Tournament is in the works.
One thing is for sure in this process, it won't be ended on a whim like so many other recruitments are. Coach Randy has outlined a program for Josh and other prospects under his wing that assures that they make an educated decision about their future.
"We look at a number of things when evaluating schools," said Perkins. "The main thing is coaching, you know. You need to make sure the guy that is recruiting you is stable and going to be there when you get there and that you know and fit in with his style. The second thing is style of play. I've seen so many kids choose a school because that school was hot and ranked high but when they got there, they just didn't fit with the style."
While those are just two of the things the Perkins' family will look at before making the eventual decision, they are very impressed by how the Zags fit their wish list.
"We've been in contact with just about every coach (at Gonzaga). All the coaches are awesome and the head coach has been down to see him a few times," Perkins said. "I just have a great, feeling about the sincerity of head coach (Mark Few)."
Prior to Josh Perkins the biggest prospect to come out of Colorado was Matt Bouldin who went on to great success as a member of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Randy did mention the two have a relationship.
"Matt and Josh had a pre-existing relationship and Matt has worked Josh out a few times. Josh reaches out to Matt from time to time for advice."
At this point, there is no set timetable for Josh Perkins to make his decision but it is likely that he will take several more official visits, including one to Gonzaga, before making the call. Head Coach Randy and his son will hit the travel circuit soon as AAU ball heats up. Randy founded the Colorado Miners program and they plan to visit Anaheim, Dallas, and Las Vegas this summer and will also take part in a new tournament that will take place in Colorado.
As always, keep in tuned here for the latest in Perkins' recruitment. We'd like to pass along our gratitude to Coach Randy for taking the time to chat with us.