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.
A week into his tenure as the new coach at Arizona, and Sean Miller has already added two people to his staff and landed a pair of recruits who could help his depleted team immediately.
Miller hired former Xavier assistants James Whitford and Emanuel “Book” Richardson (pictured).
“I’m interested in finding the best people for my staff,” said Miller, “and I believe that James and Emanuel are two outstanding coaches.
“Obviously, we’ve had a great deal of success together and I look forward to continuing that here at Arizona.”
Richardson, 36, is a Queens native who is one of the best recruiters in the business. He landed swingman Kevin Parrom of New York who is at South (Conn.) Kent and is currently deciding whether to follow Miller and Richardson to Arizona or to keep his commitment to Xavier.
Richardson is also tight with 6-11 center Jarrid Famous of Westchester (N.Y.) Community College, who is now considering Arizona, along with Pitt, Seton Hall, Missouri and others.
Xavier point guard Terrell Holloway, a New York native who is close to Richadson, told Cincinnati.com that he will likely remain at Xavier.
“As of right now, I’m a Xavier Musketeer,” Holloway said. “I don’t know what the future holds, but I think I will be a Xavier Musketeer.”
The Tucson Citizen reported that former Arizona assistant Reggie Geary also hoped to be added to Miller’s staff.
On the recruiting front, Miller landed two quality recruits who can contribute right away: Kyryl Natyazhko, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound center who chose Arizona over Arizona State, and Solomon Hill, a 6-6 small forward who orally committed to USC in the fall.
“There were some other elements, but it just came down to his relationship with [new Arizona coach] Sean [Miller],” Vince Walden, Natyazhko’s coach, told the Arizona Republic on Saturday.
Miller had recruited the big man while at Xavier. Natyazhkoaveraged 24 points and nine rebounds a game for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Rivals ranked him ninth among big men and 75th overall.
Jerry Meyer of Rivals reported that Hill chose Arizona after talking with Miller and Kentucky coach John Calipari. Hill initially committed to Arizona last summer, but backed out after Lute Olson stepped down at Arizona.
“The way things look, I’m headed to Arizona,” Hill, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound small forward, texted Rivals.com. “I like Coach Miller and the new situation. There is a stable base at Arizona, and it’s looking good there.”
Arizona will lose Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill to the NBA Draft and could lose Nic Wise as well. The ‘Cats could have as many as six scholarships to work with.
(Photo courtesy NY Daily News)
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.