Brandon Stone on Friday evening was part-basketball player, part-investigative reporter.
The 6-foot-11 forward for The Christ School (Arden, N.C.) was matched up with York Prep’s 6-foot-9 D.J. Burns. There was hardly trash talk between the high-level college prospects.
“He just kept asking me what grade I was in,” Burns said. “And then he asked if I was going to South Carolina. He asked that about five times.”
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“I said, ‘I don’t know yet. I don’t know.’ ”
Burns, a junior with heavy USC interest and a No. 53 national ranking in the 2019 class by ESPN, has plenty of time to figure out his future. For Stone, though, the decision might come sooner.
Stone, after scoring 10 points in Christ School’s 76-61 loss to York Prep, said he’s weighing options as to whether to stay in the ’19 class or reclassify and sign with a college program this spring.
South Carolina, along with Pittsburgh and Penn State, counts highly among Stone’s scholarship offers.
“You can’t get much better than Frank Martin,” Stone said. “He’s going to help you develop and he makes guys pros. I love the way he coaches.
“The coaching staff’s unbelievable. (Graduate student manager) Brian Steele, Frank Martin said he’s going to make a wonderful head coach one day. He’s a Pittsburgh guy, too, so I have a good relationship with him.”
Stone is originally from western Pennsylvania and transferred to Christ School this season. The Greenies, coached by Jeff Depelteau, play a challenging schedule that included a November win over Zion Williamson and Spartanburg Day School.
Stone is a double-double threat most every night.
“He’s so dynamic,” Depelteau said. “He loves the comparison of (New York Knicks all-star 7-footer) Kristaps Porzingis, which I think anybody would like that, right? But I think he’s just really dynamic because he’s going to stretch the floor with his ability to shoot the ball.
“He can already put the ball on the deck pretty well. I think if he really focused on his ball-handling he could really transition to being a wing player. But as of right now he can instantly affect the game because he’s a ball-hawk. He can go and rebound. He can make plays inside.
“But he’s only going to keep getting better.”
Pitt assistant coach Kevin Sutton attended Friday’s game. Chuck Martin is the USC assistant most involved with Stone.
“I’m going to take an official visit here soon,” Stone said of South Carolina. “They want me in the 2018 class or 2019, but I’m planning on making a decision here soon.”
Stone could be next.
“Really depends on how I develop and if any schools jump on me late,” Stone said of his reclassification chances. “If I don’t make a decision before April, I’m going to play two live periods of AAU and see what happens and then make a decision.”