'I'm fair game': Iowa, Iowa State PG target Ty Berry isn't just waiting on Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was impossible not to see Norm Roberts on Saturday.
Donning Jayhawks colors that could only be described as glow-in-the-dark bright, the veteran Kansas assistant stood out among the swaths of coaches as a beacon of red and blue at the Under Armour Association Session II.
If Roberts was courtside for your game, you knew.
And Ty Berry knew.
Berry, a three-star point guard out of Newton, Kansas, noticed Roberts on hand for his first game Saturday with Kansas City Run GMC. While Bill Self's program hasn't offered Berry, it has tracked him for some time now, and Berry has been on campus several times dating to fall 2017.
But, during a conversation with the Register, Berry made it clear his recruitment does not revolve around what Kansas decides to do with him.
"I’m keeping all my options open," the 6-foot-4 prospect said. "If (the Jayhawks) want to hop on, I’m fair game for anybody at this point. Just weighing all my options and really focusing on winning games this summer.
"(I'm) open to everywhere."
KC Run GMC program director L.J. Goolsby smiled and shook his head at the narrative that his star point guard is waiting to see what the Jayhawks do before he makes any decisions.
"He’s just trying to make sure he’s got a really good opportunity — it has nothing to do with Kansas," said Goolsby, who added the Jayhawks are monitoring the situation right now. "He's got some really good schools on him now. I think he’s just trying to go through the process and see how it goes, and try to make the best decision for himself."
That's good news for Iowa and Iowa State.
Berry holds offers from the in-state programs, along with Missouri, Creighton, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Wichita State, Nebraska and Minnesota, among others. He said Iowa, Iowa State, Creighton, Missouri, Minnesota and Oklahoma State have been involved lately, as have Purdue and Butler, which haven't yet offered.
In Kansas City, there was a consistent presence from Iowa, Iowa State and Missouri at Berry's games throughout the weekend.
Hawkeyes assistant coach Kirk Speraw and either Cyclones assistant coach William Small or assistant coach James Kane were on hand for all three of Berry's games on Saturday and Sunday.
WHERE IS BERRY ON IOWA AND IOWA STATE'S BIG BOARDS?
It's clear there is legitimate mutual interest with both schools.
Berry officially visited Iowa City back in September, a few months after his July offer. He said he has a strong relationship with Iowa's coaching staff, and that he and Speraw are especially close.
"Man, I love the Iowa coaching staff," he said. "I feel like they have a great program."
Added Goolsby: "Coach McCaffery did a really good job of building a relationship there. They’re in a good spot."
The week before his Iowa visit, Berry took an unofficial visit to Iowa State for its football game versus Oklahoma. He said head coach Steve Prohm is a great guy, and that he really likes the Cyclones' up-tempo style of play.
Goolsby echoed that.
"Iowa State, of course, their style of play for him is intriguing," he said. "I think being able to be in the Big 12 and sometimes, when you’re in the area, you know you’ll be playing somewhat close to home.
"But I think both of those schools have a legitimate shot with him."
Recruiting services vary in their opinions on Berry. 247Sports gives him three stars and ranks him No. 203 in the class and No. 40 among point guards. Rivals also gives him three stars, but it ranks him No. 126 in the class and No. 27 among point guards.
But it's early. Rankings could change quite a bit by the end of summer.
In Berry, teams will see a physical lead guard who can get to his spots and make plays for teammates. Although he's being recruited mostly as a point guard, he can also play — and defend — either guard spot thanks to his size and quickness.
"That’s what’s nice about Ty," Goolsby said. "He’s very versatile."
Berry said he hasn't had any in-home visits yet this spring and that he probably won't worry about narrowing down his choices until after the July live recruiting period.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.