If Hawaii is to land the services of Mount San Antonio College guards Corey Allen and/or Garrett Nevels, it will have to beat out some tough competition to do so. The two completed their mid-week visit to UH on Thursday.
Allen has visits coming up to Pittsburgh and South Florida and Nevels to Morehead State, and likely Seton Hall and New Mexico.
Nevels and Allen, reached in separate phone interviews, said they both enjoyed their time in the islands. Their trip included a tour of the UH campus and academics offices, dinner at the UH banquet on Wednesday night, and a surf session on Thursday morning before flying home. Neither sounded in a rush to make his decision where to play his final two years of college eligibility.
Here's what each had to say:
Q: What were you hoping to get out of your visit?
A: I wanted to see what it was like out here. Get a feel for the campus and the people. ... We walked around the campus. It was a real nice campus, I liked it a lot. After that, we met some academic counselors, and played (open gym) with the team. So it was a cool day.
Q: On playing with Allen at Mt. SAC and having success with the state JUCO championship:
A: Just hard work and being hungry from losing early in the playoffs in the year before. ... (Coach Clark Maloney) challenged us every day, kept on pushing us.
Q: When you go back home, do you know where you'll be in your recruitment process?
A: I want to use all my visits so I can really see which school would be the best fit for me.
Q: Where else are you visiting?
A: Morehead State, probably Seton Hall and probably New Mexico.
Q: What are you looking for out of the program you end up at?
A: Well, I didn't really know what to expect. This is my first time being on the main island. I like it a lot.
Q: How do you like it in Hawaii?
A: It's my first time being in Hawaii. Got to see campus and the coaching staff, and all the support they have. It's pretty good so far. ... We got to play open gym with the guys. Some pretty good runs. I was pretty impressed with the bigs, how they played. That's one thing I was looking forward to, playing with some good bigs at the next level.
Q: Your style of play at Mt. SAC was pretty run and gun?
A: Yes sir, we were a run and gun team. We just ran the floor. Pressed people, fullcourt pressure. Then we just ran and scored at the other end. It's pretty good.
Q:I know you took a visit to UTEP previously. You planning any other official visits coming up?
A: I plan on taking one to Pittsburgh and to the University of South Florida. I'm going to compare all the schools and see which one best fits me.
Q: What did you tell yourself you'd be on the lookout for in your recruitment process?
A: Just trying to find the best situation. Playing time. Coaching staff. If I was comfortable at the school. My major, a good supporting cast as far as academics. That's about it.
Q: You and Garrett must have some pretty good synergy. What would it be like to play together at the next level, if it worked out that way?
A: Top-25 team. Personally, I don't think any guards out there put in as much work as us, and (we'll) try to win at the next level, just like we did at Mt. SAC.
Check out tomorrow's (Friday) edition of the Star-Advertiser for some fresh comments from Vander Joaquim on his time at UH and his impending play in the Portsmourth Invitational Tournament.