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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.
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Thursday / January 18.
  • C.J. Aiken to St. Joe's

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    C.J. Aiken, a 6-foot-9, 185-pound center ranked No. 4 at his position in the Class of 2010, has verbally committed to St. Joseph’s.

    Aiken, who averaged 14 points, 11 rebounds and 8 blocks last season at Plymouth Meeting (PA) Plymouth Whitemarsh, chose St. Joe’s over Temple and La Salle.

    “Yes, it felt right,” Aiken said by phone. “I was comfortable with them. It’s one of the first schools that gave me a scholarship. They’re nice.”

    “For C.J. in the local area, the folks that were on him earliest were St. Joe’s, Temple and La Salle,” Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Jim Donofrio said. “They all had a head start on building a relationship and getting to know him. He’s a very quiet kid so he’s not a big fan of the whole recruting game.

    “This past high school season, he really got to know the coaches from those three schools in particular really well. Coach [Fran] Dunphy and Coach [John] Gianinni are terrific guys with terrific programs, but he seems to be the most comfortable with St. Joe’s. He came to an understanding the last couple of weeks that no matter who comes after him in the next year, it will be hard for any new school to show they care about him as much as St. Joe’s.”

    Donofrio said Aiken is still developing his game but has “a lot of potential.”

    “I’ll be a post-up shooting forward,” Aiken said. “I need to work on dribbling some more and shooting faster, pretty much try to get better at everything.”

    “His shooting touch is terrific,” Donofrio said. “His feel for the game is terrific. He has an ability to kind of score from a lot of different angles and areas, getting free from defenders. He’s able to play the perimeter for that size rather fluently.

    “Defensively, he’s a terrific shot blocker, he has a terrific feel on defense. He played a little bit harder every year. He’s rarely in foul trouble. He’s a huge presence defensively for a high school team.

    “He’s got to work on strength and he’s gotta get his energy up a little more when he plays. The more competition he faces the more he’ll realize that he has to keep plugging away.

    “His potential is limitless as far as his ability to do certain things.”

    (Photo courtesy Suburanonesports.com)

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    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.

    • any clue if lindens david bruce is still headed there?

    • Bruce has not qualified per NCAA academic standards yet. St. Joe’s is awaiting his latest SAT scores (taken sometime in early June) and if he is cleared then he will be a Hawk next year. If not, prep school for Bruce. SJU is holding out hope his scores come back positive.

      I have never seen him play. Can you provide an assesment? I saw Big East level interest on some websites, is he that caliber?

      • hey man curious how you found that information out? an assistant coach from linden said he might be out but who knows….. his first year of organized ball was his sophomore year when he transferred to linden from brooklyn…. very raw but developed really well at linden unfortunately his senior season was cut short for academic reasons… some say he is soft…. im not sayin he isnt but im not sayin its a bad thing…. he just isnt a banger type 6’9 guy he is a string bean…. but can shoot well and rebound above average…. above average handling for a big man can fun the floor pretty well….. he gets easily frustrated at times…. some nights completely disappears… others completely dominates….. he stepped up a lot at the big showcase events when the college coaches were watching….. i definitely think he is big east caliber… but st joes is fine… i hope he makes it there… this kid they signed sounds like a clone body wise….