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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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Tuesday / February 20.
  • Yacoubou to Villanova; Harris to Announce Next Month; St. John’s Hosts Madness

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    Villanova continues to dip into the rich recruiting waters of the New York metropolitan area for talented guards.

    Achraf Yacoubou, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound junior shooting guard from Long Island Lutheran, committed to the Wildcats on Wednesday, the same day Villanova was anointed as the preseason No. 1 team in the Big East Conference for the 2009-10 season.

    “I committed to Villanova,” Yacoubou, ranked No. 19 at his position nationally, wrote in a text. “I like the business school, the environment, the team and the coach.”

    Yacoubou was also being pursued by Kentucky and UConn, and had visited Kentucky for Big Blue Madness last weekend.

    “They are great schools but I’m going to Villanova,” he said.

    He plans to visit Villanova this weekend for Hoops Mania.

    Villanova has a history under head coach Jay Wright of recruiting and developing talented New York-area guards. The current roster includes Corey Fisher of St. Patrick, Corey Stokes of St. Benedict’s, Dominic Cheek of St. Anthony, as well as Maalik Wayns of Philly Roman Catholic.

    Yacoubou is a multidimensional guard with quickness, toughness, an ability to penetrate and a strong outside shot.

    “He’s a hard-nosed complete guard in the mold of Randy Foye,” said Randy Harper, Yacoubou’s AAU coach.


    Tobias Harris, Yacoubou’s former teammate at Long Island Lutheran, plans to announce his college choice Nov. 19.

    “On the 19th we will announce if Tobias is ready,” said his father, Torrel.

    The 6-8 Harris out of Dix Hills (N.Y.) Long Island Lutheran has visited Syracuse, Tennessee and Kentucky and is also considering West Virginia, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Maryland.

    He will play this coming weekend in the is8 playoffs in Queens with his Unique All-Stars team before visiting Louisville the following weekend. He will wind up his visits at Maryland on Nov. 13 for the season opener.


    St. John’s will host it’s Red Storm Tip-Off tonight and will host 6-8 St. Anthony senior forward Devon Collier and 6-7 small forward Will Yeguete of Florida Air Academy on official visits. Numerous other players will also be there for unofficials, including Myles Mack and Derrick Randall of Paterson Catholic; Vaughn Gray of Don Bosco; Sterling Gibbs of Seton Hall Prep; Tyrone Johnson of Plainfield; JayVaughn Pinkston of Bishop Loughlin; Jermaine Sanders and Kadeem Jack of Rice; Davontay Grace of Thomas Jefferson; Ryan Rhoomes of Cardozo; Corey Edwards of Christ the King; and Jerrelle Reischel of Point Pleasant (N.J.) Beach….For more on several of these players, including Edwards and Jack, hit hte Video Player at right for the second part of my interview with Kimani Young of New Heights.


    St. Anthony forward Ashton Pankey’s visit to Maryland has been pushed to Nov. 7. He may visit Houston Nov. 14.

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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.

    • AZ,

      The 2011 players are starting to commit.
      The waiting until spring is not happening with the ’11.
      West coast buzz is starting up again. (any more news on Nunez?)

      So, WALL is NOT eligibile to play for Kentucky Calicats.
      No a surprise, at all.
      Clifton was known as an AGENT.
      The NCAA will make sure WALL does not play, at least, for 5 games.
      But, WALL needs to pay back all THAT MONEY.
      Just get a loan from a UK booster, indirectly ofcourse.

    • AZ,

      If the boyz in NYC wanted to know…
      Kevin Parrom has been doing great.
      During his first practices, Kevin has been outstanding.
      MoMo has also been impressive, as usual.

      There are more JOKES coming from the West about the Big East conference.
      (The Big east DIRTY conference. Looks like everything is allowed in that conference.)


      • How is the Big East dirty? Especially considering the troubles the PAC 10 has had (and heck, the troubles the SEC is currently having). If this is still about Huggins you need to let it go (esp as he definitely doesn’t represent the whole conference).

      • JessieWildcat,

        You need to get a life and stop making ridiculous comments on this site. I noticed that you wrote something and then an hour later your wrote something again. Most of the time you dont make any sense. You must not have a job and must be very lonely to be writing so much as you do. Its pretty pathetic and im sure most other people would agree with me on this one. I always see your comments and they dont make any sense and especially with some words in CAPS. My suggestion to you is to go out to your local bar and pick up a woman(if you can) because you spend way too much time on here. You ask adam questions and he never answers you, that has to tell you something. You make no sense at all, you act like you have insider information but you dont. get a life.

    • Sweetnothings….
      Already have a few women. Ok , in that department.
      AZ questions are rhetorical…AZ does have good follow up articles.
      Go back and re-read….not everything is spoon feed.


      Kensucky Calicats….I totally agree with YOU – on this train wreck.
      It is not if but, when…

      The Big East has the biggest stories…and they appear to be non-stop.

      Did you forget about Louisville?
      Rickie, my boy, is going to be in the news all season (until he RETIRES.)
      Karen sexy legs… Rickie’s version of health care reform (abortion?).

      UConn chatter about NCAA investigation?
      But, this happens ,every year.

      The most amusing is West Virginia.
      Those pictures were priceless.
      As of MidNight Madness…this ONE is the winner.
      Did WV do a 180 and Self Report?

      Lady Jennifier( Big East office) said….We do not mandate the reporting of violations to the NCAA. ..I took this as a legal WTF, “this is a WV problem.”
      Just expected more.

      PS- I do like Villa. Jay has this white knight image.
      Nice school and area. He looks like a LA player-player.