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.
Melvyn Oliver, a 6-foot-11, 340-pound center from Mississippi Elite Christian Academy, is down to two schools.
“I think it’s Nebraska and Seton Hall from what he’s been talking about,” Victor Evans, Oliver’s coach, said Monday morning by phone. “Those are the only two right now.”
Baylor and Southern Miss had previously been options for Oliver, a California native who averaged 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in his first year at the school, which went 20-5 on the prep circuit. But Evans said those schools were out of the mix.
Oliver, ranked as the top player in Mississippi by HoopScoop, visited Nebraska this past weekend and returns today. He is tentatively slated to visit Seton Hall the weekend of May 2.
Interestingly, one of Oliver’s teammates is Javon Belton, a 6-3 wing who previously played at Paterson Kennedy under Jimmy Ring. Belton is down to Central Connecticut, Tennessee Tech and Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Belton said life in Jackson, Miss. is “way different” than in Paterson, but that he went to the prep school to improve his ACT score and focus on hoops.
“It’s a little bit slower,” he said. “In the long run, it gives me a chance to focus on basketball.”
Asked what it was like playing with Oliver, Belton said: “Melvyn’s a real good player. He makes it easy for me to play. He’s so big and talented so it’s all good to play with good talent.”
(Photo courtesy Clarion-Ledger)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.