Skip to main content

5-Star Julian Phillips is taking his time but has schools in mind

On3 imageby:Jamie Shaw04/01/22


Julian Phillips is the On3 Consensus No. 16 player in the 2022 class. A move from Columbia, South Carolina, to Branson (MO) Link Academy has the first-year program playing in the Geico High School Basketball Nationals.

“I am a big guard,” Phillips told On3. “I can shoot it, put it on the floor, get to the basket. I’m a very versatile defender as well. I’ve really improved a lot on my defense, team defense. I can get my shot off at a high level, working as a wing, playing efficiently this season. I watch a lot of Cam Reddish. He is a bigger guard with a frame similar to me and can do some of the same things I can. I watch a lot of Khris Middleton see how he can get to his spots and how he shoots it.”

The big season Julian Phillips also had saw him selected to the McDonald’s All-American Game, a life-long dream for the 6-foot-8 small forward.

“It was an honor to be named a McDonald’s All-American,” Phillips said. “It was something I dreamt of growing up, seeing all the NBA greats who were named to the game before me. For my name to be mentioned with them, to receive the same honor those greats did mean everything to me.”

Formerly committed to LSU, Phillips opened his recruitment back up once Will Wade was let go. On3 caught up with Julian Phillips at the Geico Nationals to discuss parting ways with LSU and see which schools prioritize him.

“With the absence of Coach (Will) Wade and his staff, they were the ones who recruited me to that school. I had a great relationship with them, and with them not there, it made it hard for me to want to stay.”

Recruitment talk

“I have been hearing from a lot of schools,” Phillips said. “Tennessee, Florida State, Gonzaga, Auburn, South Carolina, and Southern Cal are some of the schools I hear from most off the top of my head. I took all five visits for my junior year; I still have three or four official visits left for my senior year.”

Tennessee: “Coach (Rick) Barnes has had a lot of success coaching bigger wings like myself. They just won the SEC championship, so they are a hot team right now. He is putting guys, more importantly guards, in the league. He has a lot of experience winning.”

Florida State: “Coach (Leonard) Hamilton runs a great program. They have had a lot of success with guys like me; he puts them into the league. Even though they didn’t have a great year this year, they are bridging in a lot of guys who could help.”

Auburn: “Coach (Bruce) Pearl is another hot team who played really well in the SEC. He also has had success putting a lot of guys into the NBA; look at Jabari Smith this year. I think I could fit into their system and how they play as well.”

Southern Cal: “I have a good relationship with Coach (Andy) Enfield. I got to visit there my junior year and really liked it. He has had some success putting guys in the league. They also had a good year this year, following last year’s good year. Everything is good with them.”

South Carolina: “I talked to Coach (Lamont) Paris once already. He said he would start talking to me more once I get back home to Columbia after the season ends. I don’t know much about him personally, but I know the USC culture. Being from South Carolina, I saw them a lot growing up and have been around that program a lot. He did not set an exact date or time that we would start back talking, but he said we would be talking ‘in the future.’

Gonzaga: “That program and the culture speaks for itself. They have had a lot of success on the court with winning. And they put a lot of guys, at every position, in the pros. Their coaches tell me how much they like my game, and they think that I could fit into their culture and system, and I could help them a lot.”

Julian Phillips’ take

“I don’t have a time frame necessarily,” Phillips said. “I’ll start picking it up more after Geico and all the all-star games end. I want to sit down with my family and talk with each of the coaches and staffs. Traveling so much and playing a bunch of games, I have not been able to speak with any of the coaches as much as I would have liked to.

“The three things I will be looking for the most this time around will be a system I can fit in. A place where I can come in as a freshman and play right away and make an impact. And lastly, I want to have a good relationship with the coaching staff. I want to go to a place where they trust me, and I have that same trust with them.”