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.
Today is the last day of the NCAA spring signing period and there are still a couple of Big Fish swimming around the pond…Here’s a brief update on what we know.
**The Lance Stephenson Saga looks like it will drag out for a while since the sexual assault case has been adjourned to June 29. Attorneys for both Stephenson and Darwin “Buddha” Ellis said they were trying to get the case dismissed, but there is nothing new as of Wednesday.
Arizona and Memphis appear to be the primary players for Stephenson, although we have heard Maryland’s name tossed around a bit. Stephenson has repeatedly said he won’t go to Europe and Sonny Vaccarohas advised him against going that route.
**Kentucky confirmed that it received a Letter of Intent from John Wall.
**Keith Spellman, a 6-2 senior shooting guard out of Brooklyn Thomas Jefferson High, signed with Morgan State.
“He had a lot of mid-major schools that showed interest,” Jefferson coach Lawrence Pollard said. “Manhattan, Canisius. The schools he was getting interest from, he didn’t really like them.”
Spellman finished with about 2,300 points at Jefferson and averaged about 20 points per game.
“He’ll be a high-energy guy, a scorer,” Pollard said. “He’s older. He has a better understanding of his game. He’s a lot smarter and wiser. He understands that he needs to do a lot more besides score. He takes more pride in his ball-handling and his assists.”
Spellman battled a back injury that kept him out of about six games but he’s starting to work out now.
“Before the injury he was becoming a more complete scorer,” Pollard said. “His body and his strength were only improving and I think it’s only going to get better when he gets to college.”
*West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Villanova, Marquette and St. John’s are on sophomore point guard Davontay Grace, Pollard said.
“After the summer, he’ll be having more interest,” Pollard said.
**Chipola College forward Gary Flowers, a one-time Seton Hall target, signed with Southern Miss.
The 6-8, 214-pound Flowers averaged 11.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 blocks last season.
Flowers, from Dallas, Texas, was the seventh-ranked player from the state of Texas by Rivals.com as a fifth-year senior at Genesis One Prep in 2005-06. In 2004, Rivals.com ranked him the 43rd-best player in the country out of Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas, where he averaged 17.3 points and 8.7 rebounds. That year, he was named one of the Top Three Underclassmen at the Adidas Superstar All-America camp. As a junior, he averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine blocked shots.
He joins Joe Ayarza (Panama City, Panama), Pedro Macias (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Chipola teammate Torye Pelham as current signees for the 2009-10 school year.
**Latavious Williams told me he will announce sometime between today and Monday. He visited Georgetown last weekend and is considering Memphis, Georgetown, Oklahoma, Florida International and Kansas State.
**Things are awfully quiet down at Miami Dade College, where JUCO point guard James Beatty is expected to make some kind of announcement. Miami Dade coach Matt Eisele and Beatty are not picking up their phones. Rutgers fans are hoping he picks the Knights.
**Kansas transfer Quintrell Thomas is visiting St. Bonaventure today, according to a source, but did not visit Iona on Monday. He is also considering Siena, St. Joe’s and UNLV.
**As reported here earlier, Pitt commit Isaiah Epps (pictured) visited the Kiski School in Western Pennsylvania along with Shaquille Thomas of Paterson, N.J. and Aishon White of Union (N.J.) High.
“I really liked the campus and the small sizes. Also Coach [Anthony] Cheatham is very cool and is really looking to build a great basketball program there,” said White, who is being recruited by Robert Morris, Siena, University of Houston and Niagara. “I’m going to talk it over with my mom and Billy [Diamond] over the weekend and make a decision by next week.”
“Aishon told me that he and his AAU teammates had a great visit to Kiski and he was very impressed by the academic support he would recieve next year,” said Diamond, White’s mentor, who by trade is a business manager for former NBA players Kenny Anderson and Charles Oakley. “Aishon understands that it’s all about the books next year in order to become a D-1 qualifier for 2010. Basketball is secondary in Aishon’s case and he fully understands that. Plus, to have a chance to play with two guys who he is also very friendly with makes it an ideal situation.”
Both Epps and Thomas said they would weigh their options and make a decision. One thing’s for sure, the 6-6 Thomas will wind up at his fourth school in as many years. After attending Paterson Catholic, Montclair (N.J.) High and Mountain State (West Va.), Mountain State coach Rob Fulford said Thomas would not return to that school next year.
“I wish him the best of luck in the future,” Fulford said. “He has a lot of offensive potential, he just needs to mature and accept coaching on a day-to-day basis.”
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.