October 5, 2011
Sina reopens his recruitment
Jaren Sina surprised everybody when he committed to the University of Alabama back in January. It seemed like an early decision for the 2013 basketball prospect, but he felt sure Tuscaloosa was where he wanted to go.
On Tuesday, he surprised everyone again by reopening his recruitment after eight months and multiple trips to the Alabama campus, including an unofficial visit two weeks ago for the Arkansas game.
"Honestly, I committed really early," Sina said. "I was just a little nervous about the decision I made because I just want to make sure it was the right one, number one, and number two, I felt like I didn't have anything to compare it to. I guess that kind of worried me."
As he prepared for his junior year at Gill St. Bernards School in New Jersey, Sina felt that his uncertainty about Alabama could become a distraction. He wanted to focus on school and the upcoming basketball season.
At this point, the Rivals100 point guard plans to start over with the entire recruiting process, but that doesn't mean Alabama is out of it.
"I'm still going to consider Alabama, but I'm just going to reopen everything and keep an open mind," Sina said. "As of right now, I haven't looked into anything yet. Everything is completely open. Today has been a little crazy with the phone calls. I don't even really know the schools that have contacted me. I think I'm just going to handle all that stuff tomorrow."
Before his commitment, Sina had offers from Big East schools like Cincinnati, Rutgers, Seton Hall and St. Johns. He also received minor interest from programs like Duke and Syracuse.
However, once he made his verbal commitment to Alabama, other interested schools backed off.
"Throughout the entire time I was committed, I didn't talk to any school and nobody really contacted me," Sina said. "I think a lot of people knew of the strong relationship I had with the Alabama coaches."
That relationship with the Crimson Tide coaching staff was one of the main reasons Sina chose Alabama to begin with, and it still remains strong despite his decision to reopen his recruitment.
"I talked to Coach (Anthony) Grant and Coach (Tony) Pujol," Sina said. "I just kind of told them how I felt and everything. Coach Grant said he was disappointed, but he said no matter what, whatever decision I make, to stick with it.
"He still wants me to consider Alabama, and nothing's really changed. I still have a great relationship with them. This doesn't change that relationship."
Ultimately, Sina wants to be able to look at other schools who are interested and find the best possible destination. Maybe that's Alabama. Maybe it's not. Only time will tell.
Reach Greg Ostendorf at email@example.com.
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