Butler’s recent move from the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10 has several members of the media claiming Butler needs to begin targeting higher level recruits. Someone who could fit that bill may very well be Jalen Norman, a 6’5” forward out of Nixa, Missouri. Norman is currently flying under the national radar but could be poised for a breakout summer. The versatile wing is coming off another great high school season and is in line to see his stock rise in the coming months. Luckily he was able to sit down and spend some time to answer a few questions.
Jalen averaged 15.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks a game, including 16 double-doubles, for a talented Nixa team than went to the Missouri state finals this past season. The star forward broke the single season rebound record as well as the career blocks record at Nixa, in addition to eclipsing the 1,000 point mark. He was named Central Ozark Conference player of the year, as well as being voted to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association All-State team.
Norman, a 3 year starter for Nixa, described himself as an unselfish, versatile, all-around player who can do a little bit of everything. This is just the type of player that has become a staple of the Butler offense over the past several years. He is a threat to score, with or without the basketball, and is also a terrific rebounder, shot blocker, and defender. One aspect of his game that didn’t surface much this season was his ability to score from the perimeter, but he plans to change that. “This summer I want to shoot more than I have been. I play in the post a lot for my high school team, so I don’t get to show people I can shoot.”
It’s still early in the recruiting process for Jalen Norman. He remains interested in everyone that is recruiting him and has yet to narrow down his search or pile together an exclusive list of schools. “If I had to choose the schools I’m most interested in they would be Butler, Wisconsin, Stanford, Tennessee, Missouri State, Lehigh, Weber State, Mizzou, Arkansas, Colorado, and Wichita State.” Norman expects to visit Butler on June 2nd for the Butler Elite camp and also has plans to visit, “Stanford, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and maybe Arkansas and Missouri State.” No schools have officially offered yet, but that is sure to change this summer.
“The factors that will play a role in my decision will probably have to be academics, the coaching staff, tradition, and how well I can develop,” Jalen stated. His major is currently undecided but he did mention an interest in pursuing journalism. One factor missing from the above list is conference affiliation. Despite speculation that Butler’s move to the Atlantic 10 will increase the school’s recruiting appeal, Jalen claimed that the move has no impact on how he views Butler.
Jalen Norman is playing for MoKan elite this summer on the AAU circuit. For continual updates and discussion throughout the summer, and his quest to win a state title his senior season, be sure to follow his recruiting thread here. You can also follow him on twitter @ballajay11.