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.
Edwin, PC Down Lance & Lincoln; Spinella to South Carolina; Kyrie Irving Update
A whole lot is shaking this weekend in the high school hoops world. Here’s a quick rundown….
**Paterson Catholic junior Fuquan Edwin scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Cougars to a 57-54 OT victory over Lance STephenson and Lincoln at the RAC.
It was the third loss in four games for the Railsplitters (12-7), who faceDan Hurley’s St. Benedict’s Prep team Saturday night in Newark.
“I wasn’t concerned yesterday, but I’m concerned now,” Lincoln coach Dwayne “Tiny” Mortontold Dylan Butler of fiveborosports.com. “I’ve got to do something different because we can’t keep losing like this.”
ANALYSIS: This is the biggest win in recent Paterson Catholic history. The Cougars went 1-4 last year in showcase games, and lost last month to St. Patrick of Elizabeth in the City of Palms Classic. This is a huge win for DAmon Wright’s team and will likely boost Edwin’s status. Providence and Seton Hall are the hardest after him now. Rutgers head coach Fred Hill and assistant Darren Savino were on hand, along with Seton Hall assistant Scott Adubato and St. Joe’s assistant Dave Duda, I’m told.
As for Lincoln, the Railsplitters are searching for a third scorer after Lance and Maryland-bound big man James Padgett. I expect the Lincoln-St. Ben’s game to be a thriller, but look for Tristan Thompson and the Gray Bees to come out on top. The game will be rebroadcast Sunday at 11 a.m. on MSG+.
**Plainfield beat Piscataway 68-56 behind 31 points from sophomore Tyrone Johnson and 19 from Pitt-bound junior Isaiah Epps. REad more on Jerry Carino’s blog.SPINELLA TO SOUTH CAROLINA
Apex Academy guard Steve Spinella committed to South Carolina today, picking that school over Seton Hall.
“I felt very comfortable with the coaching staff,” the 6-6 Spinella wrote in a text. “I got along with the players really well. The facilities were incredible and I felt I would fit in well.”
Spinella, a native of Lincroft, N.J., visited South Carolina last Wednesday for the GAmecocks’ buzzer-beating win over Florida and was won over by the atmosphere.
Spinella also held offers from Penn State, Seton Hall and UNC Greensboro and was getting a late push from Tennessee and Oklahoma State, Rich Marcucci of Apex told gamecocks.com
Marcucci described Spinella, who plays for the school’s post graduate team, as “wiry, strong and athletic. He’s a good shooter.”
KYRIE IRVING UPDATEKyrie Irving made his season debut Thursday night for St. Patrick of Elizabeth and a ton of coaches were on hand.
Indiana head coach Tom Crean and assistant Roshown McLeod joined coaches from Seton Hall, Rutgers, Villanova and St. John’s to watch the 6-foot-2 Irving tally 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in his debut.
He had to sit out the state-mandated 30 days before suiting up.
“It felt great,” Irving wrote in a text. “I was a little nervous and had some jitters but I played through it and we came out with the win.”
(Photo courtesy fiveborosports.com)
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.