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.
Rutgers and Seton Hall fans should settle in for a long and protracted recruiting battle over St. Patrick point guard Kyrie Irving.
Not that those are the only two schools that will be in the mix for the talented junior combination guard. St. Joe’s and Texas A&M have also offered, according to Irving.
The more we see Irving, who transferred from Montclair Kimberley Academy toward the end of last year, the more impressed we are. He has already led St. Pat’s to victories at the Hoop Group Showcase at Rutgers and the Hoop Group Team Camp at TCNJ. Markus Kennedy, a 6-8 junior from Philly, has also been a big component of St. Pat’s success this summer.
Rutgers head coach Fred Hill appears to have targeted Irving as his point guard of the future. And why not? He is calm, composed, smart and talented, having dropped in 47 and 48 points in two games last year at MKA.
Irving was named the Most Outstanding Prospect at the Hoop Group Elite Camp and was selected to the Top 20 All-Star Game.
Hill left the Reebok All-American Camp on Thursday to make the one-hour drive to TCNJ in order to watch Irving in the finals of the Team Camp against Boys & Girls of New York. Hill and assistants Darren Savino and Jimmy Carr then sat alongside former RU coaches Larry DeSimpelare (now at Cleveland State) and Edgar Delarosa (now at Manhattan) as Irving guided the Celtics to the title.
Then Thursday night Irving arrived at the Rutgers Barn with AAU coach Sandy Pyonin to watch summer league play. During a spare minute, he took shots with Corey Chandler, Hamady N’Diaye and Mike Rosario. Rosario also chatted him up.
Meanwhile, Irving and his father, Drederick, recently paid a visit to Seton Hall, where they got the full treatment from head coach Bobby Gonzalez. Even after Missouri transfer Keon Lawrence committed to the Pirates, Gonzo called Irving’s father to let him know about it, presumably to let him know SHU was still interested and that the team would be better as a result.
“It was a good visit (to Seton Hall),” Irving told me. “I talked to Coach Gonzalez. We talked about my scholarship and everything, all the players. I was hanging out with Paul Gause and he took me around campus and showed me a good time.
“This is just the beginning. I think this was my second visit. When I was a freshman I went to St. Joseph’s.
“I’m just looking for the program that’s going to fit me.”
Stay tuned for a long battle over this talented player.
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.