Five-star wing Rashad Vaughn faces two crucial decisions

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Minnesota native Rashad Vaughn is one of the most coveted perimeter players in the country. (Adidas)
Minnesota native Rashad Vaughn is one of the most coveted perimeter players in the country. (Adidas)

Rashad Vaughn has one of the hottest recruitments in the country, getting pursued by many of the powerhouses in college basketball.

And high school basketball.

That's right, Vaughn is also dealing with another recruitment -- where he will attend high school next year. Huntington Prep (W.Va.), Findlay Prep (Nev.), Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and Brewster Academy (N.H.) are all possible options, while returning to Robbinsdale Cooper (Minn.) might not be completely out of the question.

“Whatever the best is playing at, to play against the best, that's what I'll do,” Vaughn said last weekend. “Being away from home is not really a factor.”

The 6-foot-5 Vaughn is ranked No. 8 in the 247 Sports Composite, and is arguably the best pure scorer in the class of 2014. He can get to the rim on nearly any defender, and knows how to finish through contact. He also has good range on his outside jumper, and is good in transition.

As a result, his list of suitors is long and impressive.

“I'm wide open right now,” Vaughn said. “I've got no favorites. I'm looking to narrow my list down soon. I don't have a date for when I'm going to do that, but I'm going to do that soon.”

North Carolina is thought to have something of an edge right now in his recruitment, and Vaughn did visit Chapel Hill in early March for the Tar Heels' game against Duke. They offered him after watching a game in mid-February.

Recently, Roy Williams came through for an in-home visit.

“We sat down as a family,” Vaughn said. “He told us about everything, talked to my family. I liked it, my family liked it. It was cool. He brought some of the rings. It was nice to see the rings. He's got a lot of them.”

The Tar Heels have one of the best 2014 recruiting classes already in tow, with five-star prospects Justin Jackson and Joel Berry committed.

“I like them, seeing who is coming in,” Vaughn said. “When I went down to the Duke game, I liked the visit down there, too. I think I fit in well.”

Kansas was expected to head up to Minnesota to visit with Vaughn, but a flight home for the five-star prospect delayed the meeting. The same thing happened with Baylor, although both schools are still squarely in the mix for Vaughn.

Vaughn is wide open at this point. (247 Sports)
Vaughn is wide open at this point. (247 Sports)

One school that is an interesting option for Vaughn could be in-state Minnesota. The Golden Gophers recently replaced Tubby Smith with Richard Pitino, who then hired a young and energetic coaching staff.

Because Vaughn is an in-state prospect, he's become a primary target for the new coaching staff.

“I like the new coaches. I like coach Pitino,” Vaughn said. “He gets up and down, too, my style of play. I went to one of their workouts, and they were going hard, so I liked that. I got a good relationship with coach Kimani (Young) too.”

Another darkhorse in Vaughn's recruitment is Iowa State, which has recruited the shooting guard for a few years. Head coach Fred Hoiberg has plenty of ties to the area, having played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and then working in their front office.

Vaughn has been to the Ames campus on several occasions.

“I like coach Fred Hoiberg,” Vaughn said. “He's a great guy, I've got a good relationship with him. Just Iowa State, period. You know, the fans and everything. It's a good atmosphere down there.”

Louisville was spotted at many of Vaughn's games in Hampton, Va., last weekend, and the two sides also spoke last week. Rick Pitino came through for a visit during the season, too.

“I like how they play,” he said. “They get after it on defense, and they get up and down, too, so I like that a lot. Coach Pitino really lets his guards go.”

These days, it's difficult to discuss the recruitment of any elite prospect and not mention John Calipari and Kentucky. It's no different with Vaughn.

The Wildcats are pursuing Vaughn as one of their top shooting guard targets, and did offer him last September. Calipari visited with Vaughn during the season, and assistant coach Orlando Antigua has kept in steady contact.

“They say they like me,” Vaughn said. “With the way they get up and down, they think I'd be a good fit for their style of play. I'm a scorer and a slasher, and that's what they like at the two-guard position.

“I like their style of play, they get up and down. And coach Cal's track record in sending players to the league.”

With so many options, Vaughn isn't nearing a commitment yet. As mentioned earlier, he does want to cut his list soon -- but he likely won't make a decision until he takes his official visits.

Right now, he doesn't have anything scheduled, and he wants to make sure his parents agree with his decision before he officially commits.

“They want me to stick to the plan,” Vaughn said. “The plan was always to commit sometime during my senior year. But they say if it ever feels really, really feels right, then I can go ahead and do it, but we're going to wait.”

Of course, he has to choose a high school first, too.

“In a couple of weeks,” Vaughn said.

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