McCallum interview


The Red Wig
Nov 2, 2008
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Keep in mind that it is from a Jayhawk site (the Shiver):

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Ray McCallum has been around the country over the past few weeks, showing why he is one of the best point guards in the 2010 class. caught up with the Detroit Country Day High School (MI) star to talk about his hectic year, his busy summer and the status of his recruitment.

Having already played in the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions and Adidas Nation in Portland, Oregon, McCallum has quickly racked up frequent flyer miles since leading his Detroit Country Day High School team to a 24-2 record last season. On Monday, McCallum will add many more miles to that total.

“I leave for France on June 8th through the 14th for a tournament sponsored by 2k9,” McCallum said. I then have NBA camp, Deron Williams Nike Skills Academy, LeBron Skills Academy in July, and I will be in Vegas in July,” added McCallum.

With such a busy schedule in the next few months, it would appear that McCallum doesn’t have much time to concentrate on his recruitment. In reality, he hasn’t had much time to focus on recruiting at all over the past year. McCallum moved for the seventh time last year as his father, Ray McCallum, Sr., took over as the head man at the University of Detroit Mercy. Adding to the pressure of the move was the fact that McCallum was going to be attending one of the most successful high school basketball programs in the mid-west, Detroit Country Day. Luckily, McCallum had little trouble fitting in with his new teammates, showing why he is a natural leader and a pure point guard that can find his place anywhere.

“I came here in the summer and started playing in the open gyms,” McCallum said about fitting in with his new teammates. ” I pretty much did fit in right away,” added McCallum.

When it came to his first season at Detroit Country Day, McCallum stepped in and took over the point guard/leader role for his Country Day team that was upset in the state’s elite eight.

“Overall it was a good season,” said McCallum. “We finished ranked 16th by the USA Today, but we should have won state,” McCallum added.

With Ray McCallum, Sr. entering his second season as head coach of the improving Detroit Titans, the question of Ray Jr. playing for his dad has been talked about. According to Ray, his dad is all about letting his son make his own decision.

“My dad has been my coach all my life, he taught me the game, but he will let me make my own decision,” said McCallum. ” He just wants the best fit for me, but you never know, we’ll see what happens,” McCallum said about the possibility of playing for his father in college.

Having his dad as a coach has proved beneficial in other ways in regards to recruiting. McCallum has spent a lot of time paying attention to his father while he was recruiting players to schools like Oklahoma, Indiana, and now Detroit. Those lessons, plus the knowledge of his father, will certainly help McCallum through the recruitment process.

“He knows everything going on,” said McCallum said about his father and recruiting. “I really watched how he was with recruiting and learned a lot of things, which makes me in no rush to commit anywhere because a lot can happen,” McCallum added.

Although McCallum is in no rush to commit to a school, it doesn’t mean that he will wait until the spring of 2010 to do so.

“I don’t know if it will be that late,” said McCallum. I’ll just see where I think is the right fit,” he added.

McCallum spends much time following college basketball teams throughout the year, watching to see what systems are run and imagining where he might fit.

“I watch most of the college basketball games that are on TV, I see a lot of Kansas games on too. I like to evaluate to see how teams play and where I might fit,” McCallum said.

When it comes to the Jayhawks, McCallum has certainly taken note of the playing style and where he might excel in Coach Self’s system.

“I am used to playing point guard and having the ball in my hands,” McCallum said. “They run a lot of ball screens, and that’s one of my favorite things to do. Coach Self really lets his guards play and I like that,” added McCallum.

McCallum had the opportunity to see the Kansas program up close and personal last October when he attended ‘Late Night in the Phog.’ According to McCallum, the Kansas crowd was just as he expected.

“I knew it was like that,” said McCallum of the Kansas crowd. “It was a good experience, and it was cool that when we (recruits) walked through the tunnel into the arena the crowd starting going wild and chanting my name and stuff. Xavier Henry and Elijah Johnson led the way, but still, it was good,” added McCallum.

McCallum has had the chance to build a decent relationship with Kansas head man Bill Self during his recruitment.

“He’s a cool coach,” said McCallum of Self. “He really knows how to talk to players and is a good guy. He was the coach of the year this year and won a title the year before. He told me before the season that they were going to have a really young team and may not be as good as last (title team), but he would get them to play as hard as possible. Heck, he got them to the Sweet 16,” McCallum added.

Off the top of his head, McCallum listed Kansas, Oklahoma, UCLA, Notre Dame, Arizona, Miami, Florida, Michigan, LSU, Michigan State, Detroit, Duke and Kentucky.

As of right now, McCallum has no leader in his recruitment.

“No leader right now, I like everyone the same,” McCallum said of the schools recruiting him.

One thing is for sure, no matter where McCallum ends up, he is not one to shy away from competition. During Adidas Nations in Portland this past weekend, McCallum and fellow, highly ranked, point guard Brandon Knight were on the same team, but they did get the chance to face off in practice.

“We went at it a bit in practice,” said McCallumof himself and Knight in practice. “He is a bit stronger than me right now, but it was good and fun. We were both just out there trying to run our teams in practice, but we did pick it up a little harder,” added McCallum.

His toughness and work ethic don’t appear to be things that anyone will question when it comes to McCallum. He isn’t afraid to work hard and earn what he gets. Wherever he goes, he will certainly be a fan favorite.

“I’m just trying to show I’m the best point guard in the country and one of the best players in the country,” said McCallum. ”I want to start as a freshman, but I will earn my playing time. It can’t be promised, you got to earn it,” McCallum added.