Dalen Terry is a top-40 prospect in the Class of 2020, a gifted wing with size who has the same dream as everybody else here at USA Basketball's Junior National Team Minicamp — specifically to someday play in the NBA. But first, he'll do at least one year at Arizona. And he's spent the past week working hard to make sure he's surrounded by comparable talent when he gets there.
"[Arizona coach] Sean Miller wanted me to commit [early]," Terry explained Sunday, a few minutes after completing camp at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center. "[The staff] wanted me to commit early because they knew I could get guys. So they told me a bunch of guys [to target], and then I came back [to them] with even more guys. We had a conversation about who to get at; I was just mentioning a lot of players. And they were saying, 'Can we get them?' And I was like, 'Yeah, you can get them.' So I'm gonna keep recruiting them."
"Dawson Garcia. Adam Miller. … DJ Steward. Jaden Hardy. Skyy Clark. All those guys," Terry answered. "And I think I'm doing good. We're bonding as a group right now — having those conversations at the lunch table, at the dinner table. It's just a real good thing."
Welcome to high-major basketball recruiting in 2019 — where the players, as opposed to the coaches, do a lot of the heavy lifting. It happens via Facetime. It happens via group-texts. And over the past week, here in the shadows of Cheyenne Mountain, it happened pretty much everywhere as some of the best Class of 2020 prospects who are already committed used every available opportunity to recruit for the school to which they have pledged their allegiance.
For Dalen Terry, that's Arizona. For Jalen Johnson, that's Duke.
"I've been recruiting DJ Steward, Mark Williams, Walker Kessler. … Those are the main three," said Johnson, a 5-star wing who committed to Duke in early July. "There's a lot of recruiting going on here."
"But I feel like I've recruited the most people," Terry countered. "I think I've recruited more than Jalen."