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.
It could turn out to be a two-horse race for Michael Gilchrist, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2011.
“Michael loves Villanova,” Cindy Richardson, Gilchrist’s mother, told the Philly Inquirer. “It’s Kentucky, Villanova. Villanova, Kentucky.”
Gilchrist said two years ago that he wanted to play for Memphis and now that John Calipari has left Memphis for Kentucky, many expect the 6-foot-7 swingman to end up at Kentucky.
Gilchrist’s uncle, William Wesley, known as “Worldwide Wes,” also enjoys a close relationship with Calipari.
Kyrie Irving, Gilchrist’s teammate at Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, revealed that he and Gilchrist are best friends and sometimes talk about playing college together.
“Me and Mike, we talk about Kentucky mainly,” Irving told me. “Coach Cal, he’s a great coach. And the whole coaching staff when I got to know them at Memphis, I have a great relationship with them. It’s just a top program.”
Villanova coach Jay Wright has also followed Gilchrist closely and was on hand last January when he scored 28 on Oak Hill in a loss at the PrimeTime Shootout in Trenton. Villanova has successfully recruited numerous New Jersey players in recent years, including former St. Patrick star Corey Fisher.
Since Irving is a year older than Gilchrist, it isn’t inconceivable that Gilchrist could follow his best friend to college.
“I’m looking for a school that has a fast-paced transition game,” Gilchrist told the Inquirer. “I just want to be with my friends. . . . I want a friend to come with me to school.”
Gilchrist has been contacted by a slew of programs since college coaches were permitted to call on June 15.
Kentucky, Rutgers, Louisiana State, North Carolina, Duke, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, Florida, Florida State, Oregon, Indiana, West Virginia, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Southern Cal, and Connecticut have all been in contact, according to the Inquirer.
“It’s wide open,” Gilchrist said. “I want to be recruited heavily.”
(Photo courtesy Philly Inquirer)
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.