Five-star center recruit Kaleb Tarczewski still hasn't committed to one of the final four schools on his target list. But he is getting close.
"I'm ready, I'm ready," Tarczewski said in an exclusive Scout.com interview. "It's been a long process and it will be a relief to get it over with. I'm getting close. I'll go home, sit down with my family and circle and get everything decided hopefully before school starts. If not, then hopefully a few weeks into school."
Tarczewski is the No. 5 ranked center in the class of 2012, according to Scout.com, and has long had Kentucky, Arizona, North Carolina and Kansas as his finalist schools. But even though it's been narrowed down to those four since late June, Tarczewski has definitely taken his time in finding the best fit for him.
"I have some really good schools and I want to make a good decision," Tarczewski said. "It's going to be one of the biggest decisions of my life and I want to make the right decision and make sure it's where I'm going to be happiest."
Tarczewski speaks highly of each school, but by reading in between the lines, one could conclude that Kansas and North Carolina are his front-runners, with Arizona right there with them.
Kentucky started on Tarczewski later than the other three schools and has yet to seal any commitments from the 2012 class. Tarczewski said Head Coach John Calipari seems like a really good guy and that UK speaks for itself about basketball, especially in regards to their great fan support, but added little else about the prospective school.
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Tarczewski speaks very highly of the Arizona coaching staff and the incoming recruits, saying that UA is "really developing their program." And I'm sure head coach Sean Miller would love Tarczewski as a building block to that development.
North Carolina also came on the recruiting trail of Tarczewski's a little later than they probably would have liked. Tarczewski said in a June interview that it did hurt UNC's chances a little bit (since he had already developed close ties to a couple other schools), but added that they had done a really good job with catching up.
Tarczewski admitted that he knows UNC needs a big man and that he "could definitely fit in" at UNC. He also hit it off very well with head coach Roy Williams.
“I like that he’ll tell you how he (Williams) feels," Tarczewski said in another exclusive Scout.com interview. "Which is very important because if you go away to a school and you’re away from your family, you want people you can trust and are like family to you. I think he’s a great guy and he’s definitely someone that I could see me playing for."
With commitments from Scout.com's top-rated PG Marcus Paige, and No. 17 ranked SF J.P. Tokoto, like Arizona, UNC already has a solid core of talent that would only further complement a commitment from Tarczewski.
Kansas is arguably the top prospect for Tarczewski if for no other reason than the fact that they've been after him the longest. Tarczewski has taken four visits to Kansas and has subsequently become very close with the coaching staff and has found his potential fit within the program.
"I love the coaching staff," Tarczewski said. "They have been on me the longest so I really feel comfortable with them. My AAU point guard from last year, Naadir Tharpe, is there and he's a great kid and he's kind of a Gabe York kind of player, he makes the game much easier for the bigs."
So Tarczewski already has a strong bond with the KU coaching staff, a point guard who he's already played with and trusts, and a comfort level with calling Lawrence, Kansas home. It appears to be a match made in heaven.
But at least one of the other three aforementioned schools has something about them to have drawn out Tarczewski's decision this long. Something about them that just may be the underlying factor in where Tarczewski ends up.
"It's definitely has gone up and down but the best school will come out on top," Tarczewski concluded in his interview with Scout.com.