One week ago at the Reaching Higher top-100 camp at Milford (Mich.) Highlands High School, Notre Dame Prep guard Tariq Derrickson shattered any doubt that he belonged in that group. In fact, Derrickson has been riding a steady trajectory in an upward direction over the past several months, one that culminated in a standout performance at the camp last week.
Today’s U touched base with Derrickson to see how his offseason has been, among other topics, after he exhibited an electric skill set at the camp.
“So far, it has been pretty good,” Derrickson said. “I am starting to get more and more interest from colleges.”
Standing at 6-foot and 160-pounds, Derrickson is a slender guard who has a handle on his game, which includes a slick pair of handles when working with the ball. Without the ball in his hand, he proved to be a timely shooter and hit a number of jumpers on the day.
“I was really working on my jump shot and my I.Q.,” Derrickson said. “[Understanding] when to do stuff and when to not, when to attack and when not to, when to set someone up and when not to. I’ve been learning the game more and more.”
Derrickson also indicated that he is progressing well in those areas and sees improvement in his understanding of the game from one season to the next as he grinds out the remaining months of the basketball offseason.
In terms of his work at the Reaching Higher event, he broke down what he liked about his game and what he did not, ultimately assessing his play at that of a B or B-plus level.
“From that camp, I was a pass-first point guard who likes to set his teammates up and can score when he needs to,” Derrickson said. “I play for good shots and have a good I.Q., not selfish. But I [need to] be more vocal and more of a leader.”
As a result of his table-setter mentality, Derrickson has remained an active participant on the recruiting trail as colleges at multiple levels have inquired on the Pontiac native’s talent.
“It’s a lot of D-III schools that have contacted me and a couple D-I and D-II,” Derrickson said. “Right now, at every tournament there’s about three or four more coaches that take interest in me. So, I think it has been going pretty good.
On the Division-I level, Derrickson has heard from the University of Detroit the most, followed closely by Central Michigan, Northern Illinois and Bowling Green. Derrickson says the Huskies’ program contacted his coach at the beginning of last season, although communication has been sparse between the two parties since that time.
Detroit, though, has pursued Derrickson vigorously and he has remained in contact with both the former staff while still employed and the new crop of coaches at the school.
“The coach from last year, I had coach [Ray] McCallum and coach [Jay] Smith I had a relationship with them, then they left. I met coach Bacari [Alexander] at the U of D camp and I played really good there. I got to talk to him and he watched me play about two games. I did really good in those two games.”
When it comes to what he is looking for in a school, Derrickson described what factors will play the largest role in his recruitment.
“I would like the college to be guard-oriented and have me play who I play,” he said. “There were a lot of guards out here who are score first, so I feel like a guard is supposed to pass first and score when he needs to. I want a college like that that would make me do that.”
Look for Derrickson’s Notre Dame Prep squad to make a run this year as he feels they potentially have a state title-caliber roster set for this upcoming season.