CHAMBLEE, GA — Trendon Watford may have one of the most complicated recruitments in the Class of 2019.
Of the four schools who have offered him that he is considering, two — Alabama and LSU — are experiencing coaching changes. A third high-profile school, Duke, has shown interest but has yet to offer him a scholarship. The others on his list include Indiana and Memphis.
Despite all the complications, the 6-foot-8 forward from Mountain Brook, AL, plans to bring his recruitment to an end on April 20 at the Jordan Brand Classic in Las Vegas. He is ranked No. 22 by ESPN.com.
"[Alabama] just fired their coach. Avery Johnson was the first coach to ever offer me," Watford said Monday at the McDonald's All-American Game practice. "I feel like the program has good guys coming back, so we'll just see how that turns out with the next head coach."
In the meantime, Watford said Alabama officials are making him a priority.
"They've reached out," he said. "I don't know who the next head coach will be, but the players are still reaching out to me, saying they want me to be their teammate."
He added: "If they hire somebody in the next few weeks or next week and they start recruiting me, then we'll just go from there."
2019 @Trendon_2 says Alabama is making him a priority even as they pick a new head coach. Delicate situation as they try to keep the state’s best player at home amid a coaching change. pic.twitter.com/BKzAg2hM7s— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 25, 2019
Like Alabama, LSU's coaching situation is fluid. The program suspended head coach Will Wade after a wiretap became public in which he was quoted offering a pay-for-play deal for a recruit, reportedly freshman point guard Javonte Smart.
Still, led by interim coach Tony Benford, the Tigers are in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and will face Michigan State on Friday in Washington, D.C.
"They're having a situation right now but I enjoyed my official visit when I went up there," Watford said. "They got some good guys. They're in the NCAA Tournament right now so I feel like they're a pretty good program."
As for what they're telling him about the coaching situation, Watford said, "I heard from [assistant] coach [Billy] Armstrong a few times. He'll let me know what happens and just go from there."
Duke, meanwhile, came on late, but has yet to offer.
"They're pretty much saying they want me and they want me to get up there for a visit," said Watford. "Just to be able to be coached by one of the greatest coaches ever [Mike Krzyzewski] would be a blessing. I played with Vernon [Carey Jr.], I played with Wendell [Moore], I played with Boogie Ellis a little bit, so I feel like we would play pretty good together."
Carey and Watford are roommates here.
"We were talking about it, we actually watched the Duke game [Sunday] together and he's in my ear about it," Watford said.
As for Indiana, Watford's family is familiar with the school even though Archie Miller is in his second year as head coach.
"With my brother playing there, it's like my second home," he said of his older brother, Christian. "I grew up there coming up as a child, just going up there every week to watch him play. So it's basically like my second home."
Meantime, Memphis is coming hard after Watford to join a recruiting class headlined by 7-foot-1 James Wiseman, the Gatorade National Player of the Year who has impressed NBA scouts here.
"They're a great coaching staff, great school and I feel I have a great relationship with Coach Mike Miller and Coach Penny Hardaway," Watford said of Memphis. "James Wiseman is probably recruiting me harder than they are, so I feel like when we played together in July [in AAU] we played pretty good together so I feel like that can translate to the next level."