READING, Pa.–For a player in the Top 10 of his class, it takes some time to crack the shy outer shell of 2015 forward Marcus Derrickson of Paul VI (Va.).
Though intense, aggressive, and powerful on the court, the 6-7, 230-pound rising sophomore is reserved when talking to the media, taking a few minutes of conversation before the more colorful side of his personality emerges.
“It looked like you turned it on a little more in the second half there,” I said to him at Hoop Group Elite Camp in Reading, Pa. “You started pushing guys around a little bit.”
“Yeah, I guess I did,” he said with a smile. “I started to get more comfortable.”
Derrickson comes from two powerhouse programs in the Washington D.C. area, attending Paul VI High School in Virginia and playing for Team Takeover DC on the AAU circuit.
A number of major college programs have taken an interest in Derrickson, including Indiana. Hoosier assistant (and former Paul VI and Team Takeover coach) Kenny Johnson came to watch him this past week.
Derrickson is also drawing interest and offers from schools that include Maryland, Georgetown, NC State, Miami, Villanova, Rutgers, and others.
“Interest has coming from everywhere so far,” he told NBCSports.com this past week. “A lot of college coaches are coming out to see me play, but I’m just trying to work hard and no overdo it or anything.
“I’m just looking for a place where I can fit in,” he continued. “Where [geographically] it is doesn’t really matter, just a place where I can learn and work hard.”
He was hampered by a mild knee injury at Elite Camp this past week, but showed his versatility, including good rebounding skills and the ability to step out away from the basket on the offensive end.
With three years of high school still left for him, he will continue to develop his frame, adding muscle and maturing.
“I have a big motor when I play and I’ll do whatever,” he said. “I can take charges, set myself up on defense, and I can score the basketball.”
But with all of that time, Derrickson wants to stay grounded and not get caught up in the national buzz surrounding his name.
“I don’t really pay attention to the rankings,” he said. “I just try to be the best I can be and ignore those.”
Photo Credit: Washington Post