TJ Power, a 6-foot-8 versatile forward out of Shrewsbury (Mass.) Worcester Academy has evolved from a high-major recruit, to an elite blue-blood prospect, in just a matter of a few days.
After his jaw dropping performance last weekend in Kansas City for the EYBL live period, Power scored offers from some of the nation’s best, including Kansas, UCLA, Duke, and North Carolina. He averaged 23.7 points on 42.2% from the field and added eight rebounds per game.
Prior to these four blue-blood additions, Power says he was focused on five programs.
“Virginia, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Iowa, and Providence were the schools I was zeroed in on,” Power said.
For the sake of clarity, Power is very much still considering the five programs, while simultaneously examining his newest options.
“It’s been crazy,” Power says. “The way it’s built up, I’ve been able to build a lot of strong relationships and have seen a lot of schools that I really like. I’ve played well the last few weekends here recently, and it kind of changes when the blue bloods come in. I definitely value the relationships I still have and I’m going to look into those places hard still, but I’m also excited to build new relationships with these new schools and explore these other options.”
Power is ranked as the 65th best prospect in the class of 2023, according to the On3 Consensus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.
Power has taken three junior year official visits — Virginia, Notre Dame, and Iowa.
Power on Virginia: “I grew up watching them”
“It was crazy when they offered. Me and coach (Tony) Bennett have built one of the strongest relationships I’ve had with a coach. He’s just an awesome guy and it got even better when I got down there (on a visit.) I was super impressed. They have a beautiful campus, their player development and everything that they have in store to get better down there. They are super detailed in everything they do so that was great to see. That’s why they’re right up top with anyone else. It was cool considering I grew up watching them and for them to exceed my expectations.”
Power on Notre Dame: “I love the way they play”
“I love the way they play,” Power said. “I think that’s what stood out the most to me, as far as the freedom they have offensively. They play with a lot of spacing and allow shooters to play with confidence. So that was a big thing for me and just going out there and meeting the coaching staff in person and seeing the facilities, solidified our relationship even more. It’s an historic school and it was cool to feel that history when I was out there. Academics are a huge thing for me. All the schools I’m going to be looking at in the end are places that can set me up for life, after baseketball. Notre Dame can do that as well as anywhere else.”
“Iowa has been recruiting me as long as anyone”
“Iowa has been recruiting me as long as anyone. Back in my first sophomore year when I was at St. John’s is when they started recruiting me. There is definitely that loyalty piece. With coach (Fran) McCaffrey, our conversations are so easy now and we talk about a lot of things. I have some friends up there on the team. Me and Dasonte (Bowen) are close and big Josh (Ogundele). So when I visited out there last year, it was just a really fun atmosphere. The way they play, they have a lot of big wings that can shoot and get freedom. So I think it would be cool to be next in line behind some of the pros they’ve had recently.”
Providence and Virginia Tech: “I’ve been to Providence a bunch of times unofficial. It’s only like 45 minutes away. And then I went to Tech unofficially last fall for like a day and a half.”
Which college coach does TJ Power have the best relationship with?
Being in the mix early early for a recruit has its perks, with one of them being relationship building.
Who does Power have the best relationship with, when it comes to college coaches?
“I would say coach Bennett at UVA and coach McCaffrey at Iowa. I have the best relationships with them. I also have a really good relationship with coach Cooley at Providence. Those are like the head coaches that I feel like the most comfortable talking with and have a lot of trust with them right now.”
What’s Power looking for in a school?
“Academics and then basketball wise, a place where I can be versatile and be free, kind of. I want to have the ability to utilize my size, to get to my spots and things like that.
“So places that play with a lot of freedom and confidence, and then having a good relationship with the coach, I think is what builds that confidence. So I would say the big things for me are academics, play style and a relationship with the coach. And then I would throw in like player development as well is big for me.”
Future visits, commitment timetable?
“It definitely is crazy right now and up in the air,” TJ Power says. “I’m probably going set up dates for the schools when I get back from Peach Jam.”
*Peach Jam runs from July 17-24th.
“I might go back out to Notre Dame for a football weekend or maybe back out to Iowa, but it’s hard to say with these new schools, because they’ve all extended offers and said ‘we’d love to get you out here for a visit.’ It’s going to take some hard thinking for me to figure out where I want to go since obviously I only get five officials.”
It’s still too soon for Power to give an exact timeline for a college commitment, but he has an idea.
“Sometime in the fall like late September or early October, I think is when I’ll decide just to get it out of the way before my senior high school season. I have some visits that I need to take to kind of really feel out all the options. That might take some time, but, I would say like sometime late September.”