By: Greg Levinsky
As March madness is underway across the nation, the Boston University Terriers Men’s Basketball team is already preparing for the 2017-2018 season. Head coach Joe Jones brings in a recruiting class of three to Commonwealth Avenue this fall in Walter Whyte, Sukhmail Mathon, and Javante McCoy.
McCoy is finishing a post-grad year at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. The 6’3 Texas native took the time to discuss his game and his future here at Boston University.
Greg Levinsky: You’re from Texas but attended school in New Hampshire this year, talk a little about the recruiting process you’ve been through the past couple of years and you’re decision to transfer to a school in the northeast.
Javante McCoy: It honestly really came down to what was the best fit for me. I had some college interest my senior year and a couple offers but it was something that felt right. I just wanted to get stronger and develop as a player and as a student. I decided to do a PG year. I chose Phillips Exeter because of the opportunity, education and even more the coach. He’s going to stick with me for a long time, throughout life. I felt like the relationship that we had from the start was very important.
GL: How was the competition growing up in Texas, do you feel like your exposure to high quality basketball at a young age helped you to gain national attention?
JM: That’s kind of hard. There’re a lot of good players and that made me hungrier. I was under the radar for a long time. The basketball there is a super high level, but it was easy for a lot of good players to not be seen. Playing at that high level made me that much hungrier and wanted to strive to be better. To be honest, I didn’t get looked at for basketball until the end of my junior year and that was D3. Senior year I was talking to like two coaches and I didn’t get my first offer until the summer after my senior year. I was under the radar. Growing up in Texas made me a better player but as far as recruiting it made it a lot harder.
GL: What other schools were on your radar and what put BU over the top?
JM: I had offers from Yale, a lot of Ivy League schools, a lot of other schools in the west coast like San Diego, San Francisco. I had Elon, Northeastern, Cornell, a lot of schools. BU seemed like the right fit, a great education, I love Coach Jones, I love the whole coaching staff. When I went on my visit I feel like I clicked with the team really well and I feel like the atmosphere at BU is what put it over the top. I feel like it was a very friendly atmosphere and environment, very supportive, a lot of good people, a lot of opportunity, a lot of networking and financially it was very manageable.
GL: Describe your game and how you feel you will be able to contribute to the team right away.
JM: I’m looking forward to be able to step in and earn a big role. I don’t believe in having anything handed to me. Just a hard worker. As far as my basketball game, this might sound cliche, but I love winning. That’s what I prioritize.
GL: Do you model your game after anyone specifically, or who is your basketball role model?
JM: Honestly it was my dad. I look up to him in every way in life and he’s taught me everything I know. I remember when I was going to the gym with him when I was young, too young to play with the adults. I stole moves from him, I learned moves from him, he taught me everything. As far as the NBA, I would say my favorite player is Lebron. What I like about him is his desire to win and lead a team.
GL: Do you have an established friendship with any of the current players on the team or is there anyone you really look forward to hanging out with?
JM: On my visit I got to meet everybody and they’re all nice. I talk to Max [Mahoney] a little bit, I talk to Cheddi [Mosely] a little bit. I follow them on Instagram and we talk a little bit. I’m looking forward to hanging out with everybody. I think the incoming freshman class that’s coming with me, I’m really looking forward to getting to know them. I’ve been watching their film and they all look like really good players.
GL: What was your official visit like, can you take us behind the scenes as to how it goes?
JM: I just got there, they gave me a tour, I talked with the coaches, hung out with the team a lot. I just remember touring the campus and I loved it. Being in the city, being able to walk down the street and being connected to all the stores and restaurants and everything being right there. I go to school in New Hampshire right now and it’s hard sometimes like I’m in the middle of nowhere. On the visit, I was hanging out with a bunch of great guys.
GL: Replacing Eric Fanning will be a tall task for BU, how do you feel that yourself and Walter Whyte can step in to fill his shoes?
JM: I feel like it’s a great opportunity. Eric is a really good player and we’ll just try to fill the role and hopefully take it to the next level. I think Walter is really athletic, really good, and to be honest I feel like we could potentially be the best team in the Patriot League. My dream is to make it to march madness, and not just make it, but go far in it.
GL: How much did you value high school basketball versus AAU basketball, what were the pros and cons of each?
JM: I feel like high school is more team valued with a goal in mind. AAU you always have a goal, but I think that’s kind of a hard question. The whole pace of the game for high school vs AAU is different. AAU is fast paced and I feel like AAU nowadays has kind of been getting lost into an individual mindset for players. Not all AAU programs adopt an individual mindset, but that’s the main difference you see between AAU and high school. Being at Phillips exeter was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. My other high school experience I had I didn’t really have a great experience. We didn’t have that chemistry that you need to advance far and be successful. At Phillips Exeter we all had a goal, we all had a dream, and we all just stuck together and had a plan and I really feel like that’s what separates high school from AAU.
GL: Coming into the Patriot League, a highly acclaimed academic conference, what do you want to study and or plan on for a career after basketball?
JM: Right now I’m just in general studies. Not sure what I want to major in but I have high aspirations to pursue my education. I’ve always been taught education comes first. Whatever I do pick and finally settle on I know I’m going to give it my all and really work hard in any aspect I choose.