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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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Friday / February 23.
  • Konchalski Evaluates Big East Recruiting; Rutgers Lands Johnson, Miller

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    Recruiting expert Tom Konchalski says Villanova has the best recruiting class in the Big East with Maalik Wayns, Isaiah Armwood and Mouphtaou Yarou.

    Tom also comments on Rutgers and St. John’s.

    **Rutgers landed Austin Johnson of Blair Academy and Dane Miller of Rush-Henrietta (N.Y.) High.

    Here’s what Rutgers head coach Fred Hill said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Dane and Austin into the program. Our mission at Rutgers is to compete for a Big East and a National Championship. Both of these young men have the talent, character and commitment to contribute toward this gaol. They are unselfish players who each bring a little something different to the forward position.”

    The 6-7, 210-pound Miller averaged 22 points, 16 rebounds and 5 blocks as a junior to earn All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year honors from the Democrat and Chronicle.

    “Dane is a very versatile performer who plays at the rim and also excels in the open floor,” Hill said. “A crafty scorer, he is always looking to get his teammates involved.”

    The 6-7 Johnson averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds as a junior to earn first-team All-Mid-Atlantic Prep League honors.

    “Austin is a skilled forward with a tremendous understanding of the game,” Hill said. “He is comfortable playing with his back to the basket and is a great passer out of the post.”

    **St. John’s has a signature from Omari Lawrence and Dwight Hardy.

    “Maybe with those guys, they can serve as an attraction for Lance Stephenson and that would certainly be the icing on the cake for the recruiting class [at St. John’s],” Konchalski said.

    For more of my interview with Tom covering Lance, Dominic Cheek, Dexter Strickland, Tamir Jackson and other topics, see below on the blog.

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    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.

    • Great stuff. You once again hit on the relevant BE targets and he’s such a valuable resource. His ability to have the depth of knowledge that comes with a long history of covering recruiting for more than a quarter century, the dilligence of consistently covering both low and high profile games and tournaments is what sets him apart, and the blanketing of a region really sets him apart.

      I wonder what his impression is of some of the mid-major recruiting classes in the metro area. I saw, for example, that Dave Telep listed Fordham as his favorite mid-major class.

      Filed under the category of things I’d never thought I’d see:
      Tom Konchalski doing hand pounds and, perhaps it was the studio lighting, but it looks like you had some frosting done to your hair and added an earring since the BE press day.

    • LOL, yes, the fist pump was actually Tom’s idea.

      We sort of ran out of time at the end in the studio, otherwise I would’ve liked to have covered Fordham, Iona, and UConn among others.

      No frosting, just the lighting.

      I have 2 earring holes, but nothing in them right now.

      Thanks again, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Tom is the best.

    • adam- it might be good to do another interview with tom. he is the man! his evaluation of players is not watered down. he is a straight shooter! he is also great with the young men we he speaks with them. he is so informed that on many occassions he tells the young men i will be watching you this season and will be at your game in january at the blah blah classic and the kids didnt even know that game was on their schedule. tom is an enormous resource for the basketball community.

    • Thanks, I’m hoping to get him in again soon to discuss how the recruiting period went, and perhaps cover UConn, Fordham and a few other schools. And yes, he is a great resource. He does it all without a computer!