Junior prospect Isaiah Stewart shined at the Team Final Scrimmages yesterday. The Five-Star center is running with the City Rocks once again this AAU season and had two impressive performances. Stewart liked how his team responded to tough competition before the Nike EYBL season kicks off.
“This just tested if we are tough enough this year,” Stewart said. “We have the talent, but we have to know how we are going to respond if a team is trying to get under our skin. I feel like we showed that we can respond, but there are still a lot of things we need to work on as a team before we get to this first session.”
Stewart dominates with his strength and athleticism, but he is most proud in how he has developed his approach to the game.
“I’m a lot more patient this year,” he said. “I would lose my mind when I missed free throws and easy layups. It used to take me out of the game, but now I am more mature and patient. I know how to control myself out there when it gets physical.”
Stewart’s list of schools continues to grow and as a result, he is starting to think about trimming his list.
“I haven’t released a list or anything, but I’ve been talking to my coaches and family about it,” said Stewart. “I’m trimming it down. I definitely have a set of schools I’m going to trim it down to. As the days go on I continue to look at schools closely.”
Eight high major schools have been pursuing him the hardest at this point.
“I would say Duke, Michigan State, Villanova, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Texas, Kansas, Virginia and some others, but those schools have been recruiting me the hardest,” said Stewart.
Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski and associate head coach Jon Scheyer visited Stewart recently. With this visit and visit on campus as well, he has grown close with the coaching staff.
“It was my first time down at Duke and it went great,” he said. “It was everything I expected and the fans are crazy. I have a great relationship with assistant coach Jon Scheyer and he has a great relationship with my Dad and family as well. They came up to La Lumiere and Coach Mike Krzyzewski told me that I’m a top target for them to get. He wants to get me and other guys around me that I can play with. I think they are going to be coming back soon to see me and my Dad.”
Syracuse was one of the first high major schools to offer him. The Rochester, New York native has been watching the Orange play for quite some time.
Michigan State has done a great job and keeping in touch with Stewart throughout the process.
“Michigan State is going to visit me and my Dad on Monday,” Stewart said. “I’m looking forward to seeing them and they are recruiting me hard. I talk to Coach Dane Fife and Coach Tom Izzo maybe every other day.”
Villanova has jumped into the mix of his recruitment as Stewart went on an unofficial visit there Saturday morning.
“The campus is great and it fits me because it’s a normal campus with nothing too crazy,” he said. “It’s definitely somewhere I can see myself at. It’s a great program with how they develop their guys especially Omari Spellman. They want to do the same type of thing with me. I have a really good relationship with the coaches and I’m building a good relationship with Jay Wright.”
A school’s plan for his development will make the biggest impact on his decision down the line.
“I want to make sure each school is going to get me better,” he told Prep Circuit. “I want to go in and get better from day one. Obviously my game still needs improvement so I want to go to a place where I can continue to grow.”