basketball Edit

Texas hosts important graduate transfer target for a key visit this weekend

This weekend, Texas will host Albany graduate transfer Joe Cremo for an official visit. Cremo, a native of Scotia, New York, recently completed an official visit to Creighton last weekend, and has already hosted the Texas coaching staff for an in-home visit two weeks ago.

“I’ll be there Saturday night and staying through Monday for most of the day,” said Cremo about the Texas visit. “I’ve been in close contact with coach (Shaka) Smart and coach (Darrin) Horn. Coach Horn came and saw me again the other day.”

To classify Cremo, who will be an immediately-eligible senior guard, as a player Texas needs is an understatement. He checks all the boxes. For the Longhorns, this weekend is a chance to make a huge impression on a player that would make them significantly better next season.

“Being around the payers and seeing how they are,” responded Cremo when asked what he’ll be looking for on his visit. “I know Texas is a big name, tried to take that out of everything… I know the facilities and that stuff are going to be great. Me, just being around the guys. The facilities and stuff are nice and whatnot and I’m sure I’ve never seen anything like it. Just being around the guys, and team. Just seeing how they interact, how the coaches interact.”

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Cremo starred at Albany, and will make the jump to a high-major program in 2018-19.

How much does Cremo love basketball? He wants a school that will give him 24-hour access to the practice facility.

“They set the bar pretty high. Coach and the guys are great,” stated Cremo about his recent visit to Creighton. “They play I style I like to really play. Just a bunch of guys that seem unselfish and play together… for me having a gym that has 24-hour access is big. Just being able to get in the gym whenever I want and have the resources…. It’s all about basketball at the end of the day. It’s not about facilities or arenas. It’s about basketball, and the fit.”

While Cremo’s shooting – career 41.8 percent from three-point range and 85.1 percent from the free throw line – immediately catches most eyes, there’s much more to the 6-4 guard. Rather, he should be classified as a playmaker that can facilitate and create for himself just as much as he can knock down open triples. In American East games, Cremo finished second in assist percentage (25.4), and eighth in turnover percentage (12.5 percent). He also finished sixth in fouls drawn per game and 12th in free throw rate.

“The whole point for me is to be a complete player,” he said when asked about the importance of a fit that will allow him to be more than just a shooter. “How can you be complete if you’re just a shooter? I want to elevate people around me, and make them the best they can be and try to do that on both ends of the floor. Scoring for me, I’ve never forced it. Let it come to me and play to my strengths… that’s what I’ve always seen with the best players.”

So, this is a complete player with a lot of experience (68 starts in 100 games), and is coming off a season in which he averaged 17.8 points per game, 3.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. Considering his ability to spot-up and stretch a defense or also put the ball on the floor to facilitate, a potential fit alongside Matt Coleman, Kerwin Roach II, if he returns, Elijah Long, and Jase Febres would mesh well, especially in an offense that gives so much freedom and utilizes read-and-react principles. Plus, Cremo will bring an experienced, competitive voice to any program, and could be a leader wherever he chooses.

“Just how I’m valued,” said Cremo in an earlier interview about what he’s looking for. “I’ve always been a guy to try to get guys involved, be a complete player, elevate my defense and keep getting better. Offensively, I feel like I can do much more than shoot the ball. I’m not a freak athlete, but making plays for other guys. That’s where you have to find the fit.”

As for a timetable, Cremo has yet to schedule any other official visits, but does have a final five of Texas, Creighton, Penn State, Gonzaga and Oregon. It would be a mild surprise if he doesn’t take any more visits, but it’s not uncommon for transfers to make quick decisions when they know they found a home.

“I’ll know when I know, to be honest. I don’t have a timetable, but I don’t want to waste people’s time because I know how valuable that is,” he said. “Just want to make sure I make the right decision, but also don’t want to waste people’s time.”

Already, Cremo feels like he can trust the Texas coaches. So, the Longhorn players are who he’s really looking forward to being around, and the trip will be, basically, all about basketball.

“We talk a lot about basketball and how they see me fitting in… it’s been more about the relationship piece for me which is pretty big,” Cremo said about his conversations with Texas coaches since they began recruiting him. “I think I can really trust those guys. That’s huge for me. Just to have that spot and fit in a program with a coach that really trusts and cares about me. Those guys have really been there for me. I think being down there on campus and stuff and I’ll get to play with the guys and get a read and they’ll show me a little more how they see me fitting in. That’s just big for me. Just an opportunity for the playing time and the full roster and I’ll figure it all out just making sure the opportunity to play is there.”