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.
The NCAA early signing period will come and go without a single player from Oak Hill Academy signing.
Head coach Steve Smith said Wednesday that he doesn’t expect 6-foot guard Lamont “Momo” Jones of New York City or 6-9 forward Keith “Tiny” Gallon to sign early.
“No, neither of them is signing,” Smith said. “I don’t think either one of them is going to sign early. It’s possible but unlikely now.”
Oak Hill, a perennial powerhouse from Mouth of Wilson, Va., is 6-0 with Jones, Gallon and New York City guard Doron Lamb all playing well. The Warriors beat Beckley (WV) Mountain State Academy, 85-63, on Tuesday night. Mountain State features two players headed to West Virginia, in Noah Cottrill and Deniz Kilicli and one going to Nebraska in Vander Joaquim.
Cottrill had 27 points, including 7 3-pointers, 6 rebounds and 5 assists and Kilicli had 10 points, 3 rebounds and 7 turnovers. Joaquim notched 10 points. Mountain State made 33 turnovers.
Gallon had 21 points and around 14 rebounds and Lamb added 21 points. Glenn Bryant finished with a double-double.
Smith said Virginia Tech is the leader for Jones, who previously played at both Rice and American Christian in Aston, Pa.
“It’s mainly Virginia Tech,” Smith said. “Seton Hall, Cincinnati, Arkansas and USC [are involved] but he likes Virginia Tech.”
On the court, Jones is averaging 15.2 points, 5.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds.
“He’s playing well,” Smith said. “We’re 6-0 against some good competition. He’s doing what he needs to do for us to win and he plays on both ends of the court.
“Our point guards usually score a lot for us. Brandon [Jennings] averaged 15 points as a junior, Ty Lawson averaged 18, Rajon Rondo averaged about 18.
“Momo is comparable with the guards we have had. We have 5 guys averaging double figures after six games.”
As for Gallon, he previously told me Oklahoma and Mississippi State were his leaders, and that he was leaning toward Oklahoma.
“I think Oklahoma’s leading,” Smith said.
Gallon almost didn’t come back to Oak Hill this year because Smith was not pleased with his academic performance a year ago. But three days before the school year started, Smith sat down with Gallon, his mother, the school principal and president and set some expectations.
“It was at the point where I wasn’t going to allow him to play,” Smith said. “We had a heart to heart three days before school and we set out some things he would have to agree to. He’s pretty much done everything we’ve asked him.”
Gallon leads the team in scoring (17.8 points), rebounding (9.4) and blocks (3.2) while making 46 of 57 shots from the floor.
“He’s playing within himself,” Smith said. “He’s playing great.”
As for Lamb, who left Bishop Loughlin for Oak Hill, he’s averaging 12.7 points and 5.0 assists at the off guard spot.
“He’s playng really well,” Smith said. “He’s 31 for 51 from the floor. He could average 20 if he needs to.”
Smith also said Lamb is working hard in the classroom by seeking extra help.
“He goes in every day after school for extra hlep for an hour,” Smith said. “He has to do that to make good grades.”
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.