Marcus Garrett, Rivals.com’s 44th-ranked player in the class of 2017, didn’t take it easy after giving his commitment to the Kansas coaches at 4 p.m. Monday.
Three hours later, he was with uncle Matthew Watts at Exline Recreation Center in south Dallas, working on his pull-up jumper and also some ball-handling drills.
“We had to go back to work,” Watts said with a laugh. “He had all last week off.”
Garrett, a 6-foot-5 point guard from Dallas, became KU’s first 2017 commit after considering offers from Baylor, Iowa State, Oregon, Arizona, Oklahoma State, SMU and others.
Watts called his nephew’s decision to commit to KU “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
“He just looked at the national TV exposure, the type of player that was going to be around him, and then being able to play for coach (Bill) Self and the job he’s done at Kansas and Illinois,” Watts said. “He just looked at it as ... his senior year, he didn’t want any distractions. He wanted to just enjoy his senior year.”
Watts, who played for Butler County Community College in the mid-1990s before transferring to San Diego State and starting an international pro career, has coached Garrett since he was 8. In those early days, Watts would often hear a common line from Garrett while working out: “Show me how you did that, Unc. I want to do that.”
“He’s just always in front of the TV watching the best players in the NBA, trying to mimic them,” Watts said. “He’s like a sponge. He likes to see good players and take a little away from them.”
Garrett, whose favorite player is LeBron James, should provide KU some perimeter flexibility. National recruiting analyst Eric Bossi described him in a Rivals article Monday as a “new-age style utility guard who can run an offense and provides the versatility to play multiple positions.”
“He’s one of those players, whether it’s him taking a big shot or him playing defense on the best player or him getting a rebound or making a pass, he’s one of those very unselfish players,” Watts said. “He’s the type of kid that’s going to give you every single thing he’s got on the court.”
Garrett is the start of what should be a large signing class for KU. The Jayhawks have at least three scholarships to give next season, and that doesn’t count potential departures Josh Jackson, Svi Mykhailiuk, Carlton Bragg and Devonte’ Graham, who are all candidates to declare for the NBA Draft.