Unfortunately, it became apparent pretty quickly when we talked that if he winds up playing in the Pac-10 it will likely be as an opponent of the Dawgs.
Byron, however, proved to have a great head on his shoulders and is a much better communicator than most 16-year-old kids, so we talked a bit about the process, and he provided some interesting insights.
Montlake Madness: Introduce yourself as a player. What kind of game do you have?
Byron Wesley: I’m 6’5, about 195 pounds. I am pretty athletic — not crazy athletic, though. I am a two guard, and my best attributes are probably my defense, rebounding, and ability to score. And, I can also shoot the ball.
MM: I’m sure you’re hearing from a lot of schools right now. Who’s really set themselves apart with their effort to get to know you?
BW: Right now, my top schools are USC, Wake Forest, UNLV, Utah, Pepperdine, and Harvard.
MM: And, you’ve been in contact with all of them?
BW: Yeah. I have talked to them on the phone a lot. And many schools have been coming to my school and watching me work out.
MM: How much does playing time factor into your decision? And how much are coaches willing to promise as far as that goes?
BW: Playing time is probably the biggest factor in me making my decision. I want to go to a school that needs what I can do, so I will have the chance to get on the court. And a couple of coaches have already talked to me about me being able to step in and get a lot of playing time.
MM: Do coaches ever promise things like a starting role?
BW: The USC coach has, and really talked to me about guys leaving and me being able to fill their positions.
MM: Is that coach O’Neill?
BW: Yes. He came to my school last week. He’s actually been twice, and offered.
MM: Do you anticipate making a decision soon?
BW: I honestly don’t know yet. I want to weigh my options, but at the same time, I want to get this college stuff over with, so I can just focus on getting better.
MM: Is Washington on your radar?
BW: They haven’t been in touch at all.
MM: Any idea why both Scout.com and Rivals.com have UW listed as a possibility for you?
BW: I don’t know. They used to send me letters freshman year, but it just stopped.
MM: Who’s the best player you’ve ever played against?
BW: Darren Collison. He used to go to my high school, so he came up to open gym before he left for the pros.
MM: What’s the worst part about being a highly-recruited baller?
BW: Probably the stress of choosing a college. Along with all the calls everyday from coaches. It gets tiring after a while.
MM: What do you like to do when you’re not in school and not on the court?
BW: I like to be a regular kid. Play Playstation 3. (laughs) Hang out with my friends, and go to the movies, malls, etc.
Thanks to Byron for being such a good sport, and thank you all for coming!