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.
UConn’s Ater Majok will pull his name out of the NBA Draft before Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline, according to FoxSports.com.
“He’s going to pull his name out,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun, who is recovering from a bike accident that broke five ribs and caused him to be hospitalized, told FOXSports.com. “That’s what he told me [Saturday].”
Professional teams in Spain, Italy and Greece have shown interest in the 6-foot-10 Majok, a native of Sudan via Australia. But he is likely to return to UConn, according to his former coach, Ed Smith.
“Jim Calhoun is a proven developer of NBA talent,” Smith told the New Haven Register. “For him to go over there [to Europe] would have to be something on a par with the coach and system at UConn, something extraordinary like that.”
If Majok returns to campus, the Huskies will feature a lineup that includes Kemba Walker, Jerome Dyson, Stanley Robinson and Majok.
Although they lose Jeff Adrien, A.J. Price and Hasheem Thabeet from last year’s Final Four team, they should still be talented enough to finish in the upper tier of the Big East and make the Big Dance.
UConn also adds two recruits from the Tilton (N.H.) School who should make an immediate impact, 6-7 wing Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and 6-9 center Alex Oriakhi.
“Oriakhi will start and I think by the end of the year Coombs will start, too,” said Chris Driscoll of the Boston Amateur Athletic Club, who coached both young men. “If you had a game to win today, Coombs is the guy you’d take of all of them. He had 42 points against South Kent when Tilton won the national Prep championship. He was the MVP of whole tournament.”
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.