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.
Here in New York City, the Mets are imploding (again), the Yankees are out of it for the first time since 1993 and Stephon Marbury appears headed out of town…yet St. John’s is grabbing a piece of the spotlight.
Lance Stephenson, the top New York City prep player and the star of his own reality show entitled “Born Ready,” is expected to visit the Queens school today for the 2008 Red Storm Tip-Off, the school’s early version of Midnight Madness.
“I think they’re going to have a very good shot at (recruiting) him,” said recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski, who is close to the Stephenson family.
The event will run from 5:45-8 at Taffner Field House and is open to students and the media, but not the general public. There will be a free student BBQ and the men’s and women’s teams will be introduced. Both Roberts and women’s coach Kim Barnes-Arrico will speak to the fans, and both teams will then scrimmage.
St. John’s commit Omari Lawrence of South Kent will NOT be there, according to South Kent coach Kelvin Jefferson. He also said that Lawrence had NOT been cleared to play yet, despite a report to the contrary.
Stephenson’s visit follows an in-home visit two weeks ago between Johnnies head coach Norm Roberts and assistant Fred Quartlebaum and the Stephenson family.
Speaking of St. John’s, assistant Chris Casey recently visited Oak Hill Academy to check in on Bishop Loughlin transfer Doron Lamb, who is now paired in the backcourt under head coach Steve Smith with another former NYC player, Lamont “Momo” Jones.
BIG WEEKEND AHEAD
**Elsewhere, Durand Scott of Rice will take an official visit this weekend to UConn. After that he will visit UCLA, Tennessee and Miami in successive weekends. He has already visited Pitt…David Borges of the New Haven Register reports that UConn assistant Phil Sellers was in West Virginia Sunday to watch Deniz Kilicli, a talented 6-9, 245-pound Class of 2009 recruit from Turkey who’s now at Mountain State Academy in Beckley, W.V. Kilicli shoots lefty from the inside, but righty on 3-pointers and mid-range shots. One D-1 assistant was quoted as saying he is more talented than Kevin Love. Borges also reports that UConn is looking at a trio of 2010 kids: Baltimore’s Roscoe Smith, a 6-7 forward who got a visit from Calhoun and Sellers on Monday; Harrison Barnes, a 6-6 forward out of Ames, Iowa whom Sellers also recently saw; and C.J. Fair, a 6-7 Baltimore native.
**Jarrid Famous, a 6-foot-11 center from Westchester Community College, will make an official visit to Seton Hall this weekend, perhaps his only official of the fall. St. John’s, UConn, Missouri, West Virginia and DePaul are also involved.
**Don Showalter of USA Basketball emailed me yesterday inquiring about potential talent in the Classes of 2010 and 2011 and there’s certainly no lack of it in the NY/NY area. Consider these guards: Kyle Anderson (2012) and MYles Mack (2011) at Paterson Catholic; Myck Kabongo (2011) at St. Benedict’s; Sterling Gibbs (2011) at Seton Hall Prep; Shaquille Stokes (2011) at Lincoln; Tyrone Johnson (2011) at Plainfield. And then of course there’s superstar wing Mike Gilchrist (2011) at St. Patrick of Elizabeth.
**Don’t forget the Garden State Coaches Clinic on Friday at St. Benedict’s Prep, featuring Bill Self of Kansas, Jamie Dixon of Pitt, Hubie Brown and others.
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.