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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.
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Thursday / October 19.
  • Big Men on the Move; Hoops Roundup

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    Several hoops big men are on the move…Enes Kanter, a 6-9 16-year-old from Turkey whom I profiled in May, will enroll at Winchendon (Mass.) Prep as a junior and play for Mike Byrnes. One of Kanter’s countrymen and best friends, Ozan Dilik, a high major 6-4 point guard, will be Kanter’s roommate.

    “(Kanter) has been accepted to the Winchendon School,” Byrnes said. “We’re in the process of drawing up a student I-20 visa. We’re under the perception that he will be attending the Winchendon School in September, but until you see him on campus, you like to keep a cautious eye.”

    Kanter is currently leading the U18 European Championship in scoring (24.8) and rebounding (13.3) and had a 26-point, 22-rebound outing in a loss to Russia.

    **Former Winchendon big man John Riek will take the SAT in September, according to a source. He has garnered interest from Cincinnati as well as UConn.

    The 7-foot-2 Riek is currently enrolled at IMG Academy after pulling his name from the NBA Draft. Byrnes said Riek is said to have 3.4 GPA “that came with him from AFrica” but he never received a hard copy of it.

    “Cincinnati did call a couple times and I gave them a positive recommendation on his attitude and his work ethic,” Byrnes said.

    Riek’s former teammate, Thon Goak, will enroll at Lesley College in Boston, Byrnes said.

    **Speaking of big guys, St. Benedict’s is picking up a 6-11, 210-pound rising junior center named Blaise Mbargorba from Cameroon. He will play AAU ball with the New Jersey Roadrunners under Sandy Pyonin.

    “He’s been trying to get over to the U.S. for the past year and has finally gotten here,” St. Ben’s coach Dan Hurley said. “He’ll be a very highly recruited kid.

    **In other recruiting news, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins is working very hard on landing Aaric Murray, a 6-10 center from the Glen Mills (Pa.) School. Huggins was sitting courtside at The College of New Jersey Wednesday watching Murray, the No. 6 center in the Class of 2009 according to Rivals.

    **Memphis commit Angel Garcia reportedly hasn’t qualified and will enroll at Wabash Community College. Yet a source close to the Memphis program says this report is “not true.”

    **Jody Demling reports that Louisville has gained a commitment from 2010 small forward Josh Langford.

    “I have been thinking about it for a long time,” Langford told Demling. “I wanted to make an early decision and I have always wanted to be a Cardinal. So I called them up.”

    **Scout.com reported that Burlington (N.J.) Life Center Academy senior Khalil Murphy is listing Indiana, Virginia Tech, Texas, Michigan State and Ohio State. Murphy is a 6-7 forward.

    **Arizona gained and lost a recruit this week. 6-foot-6, 195-pound wing Solomon Hill committed to Arizona.
    “Me, my dad and coach thought it would be the best fit for me being a guard,” Hill told GOAZCats.com. “Their production with shooting guards and small forwards getting to the next level, that’s a big thing for me, especially with coach Lute (Olson) coming back.”

    But 6-foot-8 power forward Greg Smith chose to re-open his recruitment and re-commit to hometown Fresno State.

    “Arizona was a soft verbal,” Smith told Scout.com’s Fresno State site. “Ever since I committed, I was just thinking. At first, I thought [Arizona] was the school for me, but I wanted to be at a school where I belonged. It doesn’t matter where you play. If you can play, you can get to the next level from anywhere. That is why I went with my heart and Fresno State.”

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    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.