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.
No News on Wall; Pettis to La Salle; Brownlee to St. John's
John Wall says he hasn’t committed to Kentucky or anywhere else, despite a slew of rumors to the contrary on Thursday.
“No, I haven’t,” Wall wrote Thursday in a text.
A source at Kentucky also said the school did not issue any kind of ultimatum requiring Wall to choose a school within any time frame.
As I previously reported, Wall is believed to be down to Kentucky and Miami and will choose between those two schools. His advisor, Brian Clifton, told SI.com that Duke was also still an option.
“We are going to have more specific conversations in the next few days,” Clifton told Jerry Meyer of Rivals. “John has never mentioned to me that he feels the need to make a decision by May 20 [the end of the spring signing period].”
The 6-foot-4 Wall is the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2009 and is considered a program-changer and future NBA lottery pick.
PETTIS TO LA SALLEOne day after officially leaving Rutgers, Earl Pettis decided to transfer to La Salle.
“Yes,” said Neumann-Goretti coach Carl Arrigale, who coached Pettis to two Philly Catholic League titles in 2005 and 2006. “I think it was just closer to home. For family reasons, he needed to be closer to home.
“It offers him basketball-wise an opportunity to come home and play. He fits what they’re looking for as far as style.”
Arrigale said La Salle coach Dr. John Giannini “recruited him pretty hard out of high school.”
Temple and Rider were also options.
The 6-foot-5 Pettis will have to sit out one year and will then have two years of eligibility remaining. He played 20 games last season at Rutgers and averaged 4.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 17.6 minutes.
BROWNLEE TO ST. JOHN’SSt. John’s finished up its recruiting class by signing 6-7, 225-pound forward Justin Brownlee of Chipola (Fla.) Junior College.
Brownlee rounds out the Red Storm’s 2009-10 recruiting class, which includes spring signee and prep point guard Malik Stith (Hempstead, N.Y./Bridgton Academy (Maine), and Omari Lawrence of South Kent (Conn.) and 2009 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) third team All-American Dwight Hardy of Indian Hills Community College (Iowa), both natives of the Bronx, who signed NLIs during the fall signing period.
“We wanted to address specific needs with this recruiting class. We wanted to improve upon three things – our ballhandling, our ability to shoot and score, and our overall athleticism. With this class, we were able to address all three,” said head coach Norm Roberts.
“Justin is an extremely versatile basketball player, who will be able to fill a number of roles on our team,” said Roberts. “He is a gifted athlete with an incredible ability to score and create.”
Brownlee averaged 10.1 points and 5.7 rebounds for Chipola Junior College in Mariana, Fla., located on the Florida panhandle. Bolstered by first team All-Panhandle Conference selection Brownlee and eight Chipola teammates who have gone on to sign NLIs with NCAA Division I basketball programs, the Indians posted a 34-2 record in 2008-09, spent nine-straight weeks ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA poll to close out the season, and finished in third place in the NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, falling to eventual national champion Salt Lake C.C.
Brownlee averaged 10.8 points per game and made 84.6 percent of his free throws during the four-game NJCAA championship round (during which Chipola went 3-1), and scored a game-high 20 points in the national third-place game, a 102-70 victory over Connors State, Okla. The week before, Brownlee’s efforts in the NJCAA Division I Region VIII Tournament were good enough to earn him an all-tournament selection. His head coach at Chipola was Greg Heiar.
Prior to his enrollment at Chipola, Brownlee attended City College of San Francisco during the 2006-07 season, where he was coached by Justin Labagh. Brownlee was a first team all-state JUCO selection in California after averaging approximately 20.0 points in one year with the Rams.
“St. John’s may have gotten the steal out of all of junior college,” said Jerry Mullen of Mullen’s Roundball Review, a national junior college recruiting service. “He is really talented. As a freshman he dominated JUCO ball in the state of California, and before that he was being recruited by several high-major Division I programs out of high school. Justin is a great kid and a really good get for St. John’s.”
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.