Undoubtedly OSU's top remaining point guard target for the 2014 class, New Mexico Junior College product Jeff Newberry will fly into Stillwater on Thursday for an official visit with the Cowboy basketball program.
Newberry has been on the Oklahoma State radar for a few months now and once the scholarship was offered just under a month ago it appears that the interest became increasingly mutual.
"I was at a showcase in Atlanta this summer and Coach Pierre was on his way to see me and [at the time] I had offers from West Virginia, Georgia, LSU, Texas, and Baylor and schools like that and I guess he ended talking to the camp director and getting my information so he came the next day. I think I was averaging about 27 or 29 (ppg) in that camp and he came and saw me the next day and I was still killing the same way the next day but I was also getting everybody involved and he was telling me how they needed a point guard and all that stuff," said Newberry.
"At first I wasn't really looking into it too much but after a while I had ended up talking to Coach Ferguson who had come out to see me play in Vegas the first day and I had 31 the first game and then Coach Ford flew down the next day I guess and they just fell in love with me and I kind of looked into the program and we kind of was just on the same page from there," he added.
Newberry admitted that he has done some research on the Oklahoma State program and says he can see himself fitting into the style of play the Cowboys utilize.
"You know how Marcus (Smart) comes down and if he sees a lane he can go get it and if not he gets everybody else involved and does a lot for the offense? That's just kind of how I play. He has a different body frame than I do but I'm just a versatile point guard and that's what got me the high major interest. I can see me benefitting a lot in that program. That's what I love about it," he said.
"I watched a couple of their games and I liked how every game was packed out no matter who they were playing so they have crazy fan support. Then I noticed that Coach Ford basically just let them go, like they weren't just out there playing out of control they were under control but at the same time they were just out there having fun playing and you don't see that at many schools these days so that kind of caught my eye," he said.
Another factor that is attractive to Newberry as a junior college player is the fact that Marcus Smart's anticipated departure to the NBA will leave only one true point guard on the team in 2014-15.
"I know Stevie Clark is there now but he's kind of an undersized point guard and that's kind of hard to be in the Big 12 and they play Forte at the two with his height and I kind of see Stevie being more effective there. That's not to take away from the kid he's a great point guard but it's hard to play it [consistently] in the Big 12 so I can see me coming in as an experienced guy. I've got more experience than a lot of guys coming out of high school and [OSU] noticed that too and I just feel like there's a lot of minutes to be taken in that program," Newberry added.
Newberry indicated that he will actually fly out of Stillwater Friday evening but knows what he hopes to accomplish while in town despite the abbreviated trip.
"I just want to really get a feel for the campus and see this locker room that everybody is ranting and raving about," he said.
Regarding other schools in the mix, Newberry recently trimmed his list to Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and UCONN and after unofficially visiting the Red Raiders this past weekend he is looking to set up a trip to Storrs soon to check out the Husky program.
"The UCONN visit we actually are supposed to come to an agreement [today] so that's when I'm going to figure out that date right there. I was going to try and figure out if I was going to bring Louisville and Kansas into the mix but I actually just ended up staying with the three (schools) I had," he said.
Lastly, Newberry established that he plans on making a decision relatively soon.
"In the next two to three weeks really but if I'm really comfortable in a situation then I'll pull the trigger," he said.