Q&A with Rashad Vaughn: 'Lots of kids would like' Richard Pitino's Style
Created: 04/15/2013 3:00 PM KSTP.com
By: Darren Wolfson
From practice time in the gym to workouts with his trainer, Mark Ellis -- and oh, by the way, regular school life -- tracking down Robbinsdale Cooper High School junior guard Rashad Vaughn isn't easy. But that's what 1500ESPN.com did on Friday night.
Below is the full transcript of our chat with Rashad, and his dad, Troy.
How did your meeting with Richard Pitino go?
It went pretty well. We sat down and talked for a while, and we watched him work his guys out. They were working really hard. It was fun. We talked a lot.
Who was he working out?
The whole team. They were doing a lot of 1-on-1 stuff. It was fun to watch.
But you had the chance to sit and have a healthy back-and-forth with him?
We sat down for about an hour-and-a-half. I asked questions. He told us about himself, how he loves to run (with his offense). I met with the assistant coaches, too, and got to know them.
He runs a system, an up-and-down system that would seem to suit you well.
He said he runs pro-style sets, lots of pick-and-roll. On defense, it's Louisville. I think a lot of kids would like that style of play.
What was your reaction when you heard that the "U" hired Pitino?
I wasn't sure who he was. I had to ask who he was, and then I was told it was Rick Pitino's son. So, then I was like he should be good. I started to get to know him and people told me more about him. I then got more interested.
Forget the phone conversations, you like him even more now after sitting down with him?
I am more impressed. I learned more about his track record -- he was at Florida (International). We watched highlights of how he runs and he runs his team. I am more impressed.
Is it impressive that he's not a ton older than you?
Yeah. He's young. We can probably relate more.
What about his staff?
They're all young. They're all cool guys. Ben (Johnson) was recruiting me in the summer with Nebraska, so I knew him. I'm building a relationship with Kimani (Young). I like them all.
From meetings constantly right now with coaches, how much of a whirlwind is this?
It's a lot on me, but it's bearable. My dad and coach (Pete Kaffey) do a good job of spreading them out.
It just blow you away that these coaches are taking their private jets into town just to see you?
It's fun. I like the recruiting process.
Is it, though? It has to be hard to be a normal student, to have a chance to enjoy prom, etc.
It is tough, but sometimes you need to make sacrifices in order to chase your dream. That's what I do.
You are playing for a Milwaukee team this summer for AAU. Why?
I thought that was the best fit for me.
Did the Howard Pulley Panthers with Tyus Jones and Reid Travis try to get you?
There was a bit of an altercation. My family and I decided that playing for Milwaukee was best.
Do you have to travel to Milwaukee a lot?
Probably every other weekend. Something like that.
Looking forward to the AAU season?
We're in L.A. next weekend. I've been to a few practices. I like the teammates. We should be ready.
Will you play the Pulley team in L.A.?
We play them in Virginia at the Boo Williams event (later this month).
What else stood out about your visit with Pitino?
Just how hard the players were working. He was doing a lot of individual stuff. I'll take some of that and go to the gym, work on some of those drills. Everyone was encouraging each other.
Conditioning is about to get ramped up a ton to play that Pitino style.
In order to play at that pace, you need to be in real condition.
When did you last talk to Rick Pitino, who's also recruiting you?
A couple weeks ago. It'll be interesting to be recruited by a father and a son.
Have you thought about trimming your list?
We will. We just haven't set a time. When I narrow it, it'll be seven or eight schools.
What's most important when deciding on where you'll go?
Style of play, plus the coach and that relationship, and whether they can develop me.
Richard's style of play better for you than ex-coach Tubby Smith's?
I would say so. He just gets up-and-down more.
So, that's the key: playing at a hectic, fast pace?
Just to get up-and-down, show what you can do. Every kid wants to play in a style like that.
Where do you need to get better to reach your ultimate dream: the NBA?
Thinking the game more, just need to be more intelligent. Plus, the defensive end, playing more team defense. Just getting better overall at everything.
Do you talk to Jones and Travis about how the process is going, for advice?
We had a photo shoot together, so we talked. Besides that, we don't talk. Maybe every now-and-then. But not about the process.
Do you like being grouped in with those two?
It doesn't really matter, by myself, or being grouped with them. All three of us work hard.
When will you make a decision? If I ask you next April, will you know?
Yeah. Probably around this time.
Is that different from the past?
We always decided I would do it my senior year around this time.
Who do you lean on for information?
My dad, coach (Pete Kaffey), and my mom.
Troy Vaughn, Rashad's dad