ASU men's basketball 2016 verbal commit Sam Cunliffe has seen his stock skyrocket since committing to Bobby Hurley and Co.
He's been bumped up from a three-star to a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, and the 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Seattle, Wash., earned an invite to the prestigious Under Armor All-America Camp this week.
Among other participants in the camp are ASU 2016 targets Thon Maker (five-star, Rivals.com) and Mitch Lightfoot (three-star, Rivals.com).
Cunliffe spoke with Rivals.com about his experience at the camp and his recruitment process:
Cunliffe said new coach Bobby Hurley was impressive from the start when first hired at ASU.
"I talked to coach (Bobby) Hurley a lot," Cunliffe said. "I think that was the main thing. Mostly, I was talking to assistants, and (at ASU) the recruiting process began and mostly ran through the head coach...it felt like they needed me."
Hurley took a bit of an unorthodox method when Cunliffe came to ASU on a visit, opting not to try to sell him on the University itself.
"When I went down there, the first thing that we did was a film session -- for two hours," Cunliffe said. "That was it, and I was like, 'Okay. I like where I would live. I like the coaches. I'm not too far from home.' That's what it was, mostly."
Cunliffe was the first player in the class of 2016 to commit to ASU under Hurley, who came in from Buffalo after then-coach Herb Sendek was fired at the end of the 2014-15 season.
"It feels great," Cunliffe said. "It feels like I'm the one who started it all. I feel like for the kids I'll be going (into ASU) with, I'm the leader. I'm the one who saw this coming and want to get this to where it needs to be. I feel like this can be a top, top program."
Now that he has committed, Cunliffe said he's playing a new role -- recruiter.
"I talk to Thon (Maker) a lot," he said. "He knows (assistant coach Brian Merritt), so I joke to him about that all the time. Mitch Lightfoot was on my team (at the camp)...players that (ASU) is targeting, players that I'm targeting, and it all comes together."
Cunliffe said Hurley told him the will mostly play point guard and shooting guard at the next level, saying that he wants to "create mismatches on the floor."
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