While fans may be focused on the upcoming season and the 2015 recruiting class, the Gonzaga coaching staff continues to look to build for the future. The staff recently extended their first offer to a member of the 2016 class, as BC native Jermaine Haley became a prime target. We caught up with his AAU head coach, Pasha Bains, to discuss the offer and what makes Haley such a key target for top programs.
TSSF: After a long recruitment, Jermaine recently received an offer from Gonzaga. Can you talk about how long the staff has been recruiting Jermaine and what his reaction was to receiving the offer?
Pasha Bains: The Gonzaga staff have known about Jermaine for a while now. Tommy first saw him play in Vegas a couple of Summers ago with DRIVE & the Coaches have been up to Vancouver to see him play also. Recently, the staff was in Bellevue during the 1st NCAA Evaluation Weekend & watched Jermaine play for DRIVE. Jermaine was extremely excited to receive the offer from Gonzaga, it's such an amazing program & has high exposure within the basketball community here in BC. Also, the fact that the Staff has been recruiting him for a while & they keep in constant contact with us made the offer feel even more special.
TSSF: Gonzaga has gathered a ton of attention for the impact Canadians have had on the program. How much does the success of guys like Sacre, Olynyk and Pangos impact a guy like Jermaine?
Pasha Bains: The success that Canadians and more specifically players from British Columbia have had at Gonzaga makes a huge impact on all the players here in BC. Seeing guys have success there, win so many games, play on TV, play in the NCAA Tournament & play for Canada in the Summers is a huge motivator for a kid like Jermaine. Those guys have provided a great blueprint for success through hard work & the platform they have at Gonzaga.
TSSF: Tell us a little about Jermaine as a prospect. He appears to have tremendous size for a guard, but what do you think are his greatest strengths on the court that make him special.
Pasha Bains: Jermaine has great size for the guard spot & is still growing. He excels in transition, is great in the pick & roll & has a tremendous feel for the game. The attribute that jumps out most is his passing & floor vision. He is a good athlete who competes hard on defense & works hard on the glass. He is also a good shooter & is a good finisher around the basket. He has tremendous upside considering he has not started lifting weights etc. He has a wiry frame that you look for in a young prospect. He is definitely someone who is going to grow physically & his game will grow a lot in the coming years.
TSSF: Jermaine has seen his recruitment blow up in the past month. What led to this recent surge of offers from some of the best schools in the country?
Pasha Bains: Jermaine has continued to grow & improve & I think Coaches are taking notice of this. Recently, reclassing to the 2016 Class has made him even more intriguing as a prospect. Some great programs & big schools offered him & others did more research on him & decided to offer also.
TSSF: Does Jermaine have any visits planned for the next couple of months? Are there any schools really standing out at this point?
Pasha Bains: No visits planned currently. Right now I think Jermaine is just soaking it all in and using this as motivation to improve. This is the most hungry I have seen in in terms of his training and practice. The programs recruiting him now are doing a great job establishing a relationship & providing education on style of play, school life etc.
We want to thank Pasha for taking the time to breakdown Jermaine and his game. We will continue to follow his recruitment over the next couple of years.