CHICAGO — Listen to what No. 1 recruit Jaylen Brown says about basketball at the University of Kentucky, and his college destination seems like a slam dunk.
"Kentucky, man. Kentucky is probably the best basketball program right now in America," Brown said. "I took a lot of visits. Nobody's basketball program was as good as Kentucky. And ... basketball is what I'm going to do with my life.
"Kentucky — I have so much respect for that program."
Listen to everything else Brown says, though, and things aren't so clear.
The 6-foot-7 small forward from Marietta, Ga., talked to the Herald-Leader and Scout.com on Sunday night about his recruitment, which remained up in the air as he prepared for the McDonald's All-American Game on Wednesday in Chicago.
"Honestly, nothing would surprise me as far as Jaylen goes," said Scout.com recruiting director Evan Daniels.
Brown gushed about UK's program whenever it was mentioned, but he also said he'd be looking at more than basketball when he makes his college decision. He said that the last three schools that he added to his list — California, Michigan and North Carolina — are all known for strong academics.
He also said that he would be at the school he picks for "six months to four years," so he wants to make sure his decision goes beyond the court.
Scout.com ranks Brown as the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2015. DraftExpress.com already projects him as the No. 1 pick in next year's NBA Draft.
When it was suggested that Brown would almost certainly be at the lower end of the "six months to four years" spectrum, he laughed and shook his head. Then he replied with an earnest expression.
"People say I'm ready to go (to the NBA) this year," he said. "People say I'll be ready next year. But, to do what I want to do, I think it'll take me at least two years. I don't want to come into a situation like the NBA and have to develop for two or three years. When I come in, I want to be a superstar."
Regardless of whether his claim of two years in college is to be believed, Brown takes a different approach than most high-level prospects.
He told college coaches when his recruitment took off that he wasn't interested in talking on the phone. His mother answers calls, but he rarely does. For now, he's focused on schoolwork and the end of his high school basketball career.
"When all that ends, then I'll reach out to every coach," Brown said. "Until then, nah, I don't really need to talk to you about how I'm doing. I already know what your school offers. I've been on a visit. I've talked to you numerous times.
"If we build a relationship, then I go somewhere else, it's a waste of everybody's energy."
The schools in the running are UK, Kansas, UCLA, Michigan, North Carolina, California, Georgia and Georgia Tech.
Daniels used the word "elite" to describe many of Brown's on-the-court attributes. He has great size and athleticism for a wing player. He can score by driving to the basket or settling for open threes, and he has the tools to be an excellent perimeter defender.
"He's a really competitive kid, and he's a very hard worker," Daniels said. "He thinks about the game and how he goes about things a little bit differently.
"He's calculated in a lot of what he does, both on and off the court."
Brown said he has no firm timetable for making a college decision and acknowledged that he'll probably wait until current college players announce their NBA intentions before he shares his choice.
When that happens, don't expect a lot of hoopla from the nation's top recruit.
"I don't want to do it on national TV," he said. "I decided that last week. I'd rather just do it at my high school, and have people just come. I don't want to do it in front of the whole world.
"That's not me. I don't need that."