Wampler has had a big summer and has seen his recruitment pick up.
Billy Wampler, a 6-foot-6 rising senior from Eau Claire (WI) Regis, has had a very strong summer and continues to garner increased interest from college coaches. This past weekend, Gophers Richard Pitino joined coaches from Drake, Nebraska, Creighton Northern Iowa and others in scouting Wampler.
Wampler helped lead Regis to a 15-9 mark this past season, losing to Mondovi 54-39 in the playoffs. He averaged 25.5 points per game and had 18 games of more than 20 points with seven contests of more than 30 points.
Wampler recently talked to Gopher Hole about the latest on his recruitment.
Gopher Hole: You played well in Chicago. What was that experience like?
Billy Wampler: It was definitely a different experience. It was the first time I had ever been to a camp with that kind of set-up. We went to the gym three times a day, so it was really tiring on the body, but I think that my conditioning work really helped me progress throughout the week and get better as the camp went on and everyone else got tired. The first day was little of rough, but I was just trying to get to know everybody and get my ropes, so I could figure out what I was going to do and how I was going to compare to these guys. I think that it was after the first game, it was still the same thing, but the second game I just started picking things up and getting used to my teammates and it just kept going up from there.
Gopher Hole: Do you think that was partly due to no one really knows each other that well and you can sometimes get stuck with some point guards who handle the ball too much?
Billy Wampler: Yes. I had Sedrick Barefield from the Compton Magic on my team, so I actually had a nice point guard. He actually gave me my confidence in the second game and set me up a lot and I ended up with four or five threes in that game, so he really helped me get better as the week went on. I also had Rawle Alkins out of New York and he is a top 100 player and he is really good. He just kept my confidence up and kept pushing me to be better.
Gopher Hole: You had the really big game where you made 10 of 16 shots and had 27 points. Do games like that give you even more confidence?
Billy Wampler: I was trying to win that game because we went 1-3 in the first two days. We wanted to do better and we knew that we could win some games. That was a team that we had lost to before. I really wanted to come back and I really wanted to win that game because we lost by 20 the first time. It was kind of a pride thing for us to come back out and win that game.
Gopher Hole: Have you heard from some new coaches since Chicago?
Billy Wampler: Not really new coaches, but just a lot more heavy pressure from a lot of the schools that have been in contact since Nebraska, Wisconsin and Creighton. All those Midwest schools that are starting to push on me real heavy, but it has also spread further to Stanford. Stanford, I know, has called my coach several times. I was offered by Auburn, so it is starting to get stretch out from the Midwest.
Gopher Hole: How many offers are you up to right now?
Billy Wampler: I am up to 18 right now.
Gopher Hole: Is it hard to keep track after a while?
Billy Wampler: It is hard to name all the schools, but I can keep count of the number, so I have to go online and look up my list and make sure that I know all the schools.
Gopher Hole: If I told you that you would have 18 offers a year ago, what would you have thought?
Billy Wampler: Probably "You're crazy," because I thought maybe one or two and maybe get to college, but I never would have expected to have this many options to go to school somewhere across the country like Auburn or something like that.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, you have a lot of the "Mid-major programs" and now Auburn is probably your highest offer. What is going to take for the Wisconsin, Marquettes and Minnesotas, the area schools to offer you?
Billy Wampler: They have all been talking about an offer. Coach Pitino, I know, is really, really interested and Nebraska with Coach Tim Miles. Tim Miles is going to come on Sunday and I'm sure that Coach Pitino will be here soon. He said that he was going to be here. They are just going to watch me play because they really haven't ever seen me play because there was only one period in the spring, so they just want to get out and see me and decide from there.
Gopher Hole: I know that you visited Minnesota during their team camp. What was that experience like?
Billy Wampler: Actually, I fell in love with the campus. I really enjoyed Minnesota. I visited Wisconsin the previous week. Some people are biased towards Wisconsin. I was there, but I really love Minnesota and I loved everything about it. I like the coaching staff and they are doing really big things there and the Barn was just something else. It is older, but it really has got a lot of history, so it was fun to be there. I got to stand right in the middle of the court and it was empty. It was just an awe inspiring experience
Gopher Hole: What would it mean if Minnesota decided to offer you?
Billy Wampler: It would be great. They would probably be at the top of my list or tied for the top of my list. It is a great program. Coach Pitino is really going up with that program and it is going to be something good.
Gopher Hole: What if Wisconsin were to offer?
Billy Wampler: Same thing. I am kind of on the border between a Minnesota or Wisconsin kid. That has been in my household ever since I was a little kid. Wisconsin gear everywhere. I probably have 300 Wisconsin shirts in my house. It would crazy to know that I have an offer from the University of Wisconsin. That is kind of like everyone's dream in the state is to play for their home school, but I don't know if I am a Wisconsin kid. I might be a Minnesota kid at heart.
Gopher Hole: What is going to be the main factors that make you pick School A over School B or C?
Billy Wampler: It is probably going to be more coaching staff and opportunity. That is probably going to be the two biggest things. Obviously, my major is going to play in there, but I am going to major in Business Marketing, so most schools are going to have my major. Coaching and opportunity, if I am going to have to redshirt or if I am going to be able to play right away, so it is just those two things. The coaches that I have meet have been really nice guys. It is hard to leave some coaches out. Just figuring out if they are telling you the truth or not, but we'll figure it out as it goes on.
Gopher Hole: Have you thought about when you would try to decide on a school? Would you sign in the early period?
Billy Wampler: We are definitely going to decide early. We are going to try to get all of our visits out of the way to the schools that are serious in August and then we are going to move forward and probably make a decision in late August or early September, so we can really get into the program and start with their weight program and stuff like that.
Gopher Hole: Do you know what schools you definitely want to take your five official visits to yet?
Billy Wampler: I am not for sure. I am probably going to take one to Davidson, because I really, really like Coach Bob McKillop. That is kind of a sleeper school for me. A lot of people don't really expect me to like Davidson, but I really enjoy the program because he thinks that I could probably start for them right away for them, so that is obviously a great opportunity for me to come in and play. Now, they are going to be in the A-10. A really good school and a really good conference. For sure, Davidson, but I am not for sure about my other four. We are just going to see how that plays out.
Gopher Hole: Are you planning on making any unofficial visits anywhere this month or are you just waiting until July is over?
Billy Wampler: We are going to wait until July is over before we can really do anything because we are jammed packed with stuff all during July. We are probably going to mix in some officials with unofficials and try to knock out as many schools as we possibly can just to try to get to experience what everyone is about.