Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Echenique, Johnson Fallout: What’s Next for RU, SHU
In the wake of the monumental commitments Rutgers obtained Monday from Greg Echenique and Austin Johnson, here are some questions and partial answers related to Rutgers, Seton Hall and New Jersey basketball.
1. What does it mean for Devin Ebanks?
We spoke to a source close to the 6-9 Ebanks today and he said nothing much had changed. Ebanks has asked for his release from Indiana and is looking at Rutgers, Memphis and Texas and potentially another school. The source indicated that Ebanks wouldn’t make any visits until after the NCAA tournament. You would think the commitments of Greg Echenique and Austin Johnson, along with that of McDonald’s All-American Mike Rosario, would make the Rutgers situation more enticing, but we’ll have to see what develops…
2. What’s up with Gary Flowers?
We spoke to another source close to the 6-8 Flowers at Chipola (Fl.) College, who also said there was no breaking news on Tuesday. Chipola finished 7th at JUCO Nationals and there was talk Flowers might announce his college choice (possibly Seton Hall?) after the tournament. We hope to have an update soon.
3. What about Chris Turner?
Though we heard he was close to committing to Seton Hall after de-committing from Oregon State because of the coaching change, the 6-5 shooting guard has not yet committed, according to his high school coach, Carlos Wilson of Humble Christian Center Life. Kentucky, Seton Hall and Wake Forest are his top three, according to a published report.
4. What does this say about St. Benedict’s?
Dan Hurley’s program had six players competing on Day One of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden: Corey Stokes and Frank Tchuisi (Villanova); Rashad Bishop (Cincinnati); David Cubillan and Dwight Burke (Marquette) and Eugene Harvey (Seton Hall).
This year, Hurley had three more players commit to Big East schools: seniors Samardo Samuels (Louisville) and Dwan McMIllan (South Florida) and junior Greg Echenique (Rutgers).
Meantime, Bob Hurley, Dan’s father and the coach at St. Anthony will send three players to the Big East next year: Rosario (Rutgers); Tyshawn Taylor (Marquette) and Travon Woodall (Pitt)?
Shouldn’t the Hurleys be getting a cut of Big East TV revenues with all that they’re contributing to this league?
5. How good is Rutgers commit Austin Johnson?
“Austin Johnson can be a good player for them,” Tom Konchalski of the High School Basketball Insider said. “He’s a terrific kid. The last year has really made him so much more assertive and tough playing at Blair Academy. He was a skill player at Cheltenham Academy. He had good skills and was a really good kid, but he was a suburban player. Playing for Joe Montegna at Blair Academy has made him much more assertive and toughened him up.
“He’s a very assertive player and a very active rebounder. He doesn’t take plays off. He can be a very, very serviceable four man in the Big East.
“Getting Echenique is a signature recruit for Fred Hill, and getting Austin Johnson is good, too.”
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.