Here’s a message for friends of Omaha Central basketball player Akoy Agau.
Call him before Friday. After that, it’s going to be hard to get through.
A new NCAA rule allows college coaches beginning Friday to text, call or email uncommitted prospects who will be seniors. Previously, coaches had been limited to one call a month.
“I’m going to cancel all my plans for June 15 and just sit by the phone and just wait for them all,” a jovial Agau said of the anticipated deluge. “It feels like June 15 has already come.”
When reached by phone on Friday afternoon, the 6-foot-9 forward had just gotten off the phone with a coach from Providence. He said most schools say the same things: they introduce themselves, tell him about their schools, offer him a scholarship and ask him to visit.
UConn’s Jim Calhoun, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Georgetown’s John Thompson III didn’t need introductions.
UConn and Georgetown have joined the list of more than 30 schools that have offered scholarships to Agau. The list of power-conference schools in the hunt is growing now that the two-time All-Nebraska pick is becoming better known on the national stage.
Agau’s Team Nebraska coach, Scott Hammer, was talking to coaches at Kansas last week. Georgetown has been among the most persistent suitors, along with Tennessee and Mississippi State. Nebraska is up there, too.
Although it was once his dream to play for UConn, Agau said he has not narrowed his list. He wants to know every school that’s interested and then check them out.
“I’m not trying to be cocky,” he said. “I want to give all the schools a chance.”
He’s made unofficial visits to Nebraska, Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri State, Illinois and Marquette. Next weekend, while on the East Coast for the NBA Players Top 100 Camp at the University of Virginia, he plans to look at West Virginia, Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Clemson.
Agau stopped in recently at the University of San Francisco when he traveled to a tournament there while playing with the All-Iowa Attack. Agau also played with the Iowa-based AAU team in Dallas, but he’ll be with Team Nebraska the rest of the summer.
Between tournaments and events such as the Pangos All-American Camp in Los Angeles, the Reebok camp in Philadelphia in July and possibly the LeBron and Durant camps later this summer, Agau has little down time. He did get to visit the Golden Gate Bridge while in San Francisco. But his best memories, he said, are the tips from the pros he picks up at the camps.
“I don’t know if there is a time for fun. This is the longest I’ve been home (since late April),” he said. “Like eight days. That’s a world record, actually.”
That’s all just part of the recruiting process, he said, just like the calls from coaches.
He enjoys talking to them, but he welcomed Hammer’s idea of limiting coaches to a call a week and occasional texts.
“I’ve talked to a few already, and they’ve been really cool about it,” Hammer said. “They said: ‘Just tell us how often we can call and what the parameters are, and we’ll follow them.’”
Agau likes the idea that the recruiting interest in him could open paths for other local players. The same could happen in his senior season when Omaha Central plays national power Oak Hill and in a top-level national tournament in Florida.
“We’re looking forward to proving we’re one of the best teams in the country, also,” he said.
Agau has no timetable for making a college decision. He’s looking for the best fit overall. “Definitely an environment I can feel comfortable with. People I can be like a family with.”
He once dreamed, he said, of making his college announcement while being interviewed on TV after Central won its fourth straight state title.
A state title may still be in the works, but announcing a college on TV after winning it may be pushing it.
“I don’t know if that’s going to stick,” he said.
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