Recent Posts
About ZagsBlog
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.
Follow Zags on Twitter
Contact Zags
Connect with Zags:
Thursday / February 22.
  • Collier Picks Oregon State; Smith Likes Louisville (UPDATED)

    Share Zagsblog Share Zagsblog
    Devon Collier, the 6-foot-8 forward from St. Anthony, has opted to play for Oregon State of the Pac-10.

    “He called [head coach] Craig Robinson and committed,” said New Heights director Kimani Young. “That’s where he felt most comfortable.”

    Collier, a Bronx native ranked No. 134 in the Class of 2010 and No. 25 among power forwards by Rivals, chose Oregon State over Big East schools St. John’s, Seton Hall and Providence.

    “I think Devon really liked the players, the coaching staff and I think at the end of the day he wants to create his own legacy for himself,” Young said.

    “He’s very comfortable with Craig Robinson,” added St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley. “He seemed very sure that it’s the right move for him and I feel good for him because he was very comfortable that he had made the right decision.”

    Robinson and his staff flew East to watch Collier several times during open gyms and Collier then took an official to campus in mid-October.

    “Oregon State would be my top [school] because the official visit was great,” Collier said last month. “Since I officially visited Oregon State, they’re on top. I have to visit the other schools. Then I’ll decide.”

    Asked if he could imagine going there, he said. “I could imagine it. Just because the area itself is nice. They’re making me feel welcome.”

    He added: “[Robinson] is a cool person. He’s fun to talk to. He has a  good sense of humor. He’s smart. It’s not because he’s the President’s brother-in-law. He’s a good person in general. The staff that’s around him, they’re good, too.”

    Hurley said Collier liked Oregon State’s style of play, which emphasizes the play of the forwards.

    “They play with the forwards handling the ball,” Hurley said. “If he works he can become a better shooter. They like him as a kid that can move in the zone, rebound, get deflections.”


    South Kent (Conn.) shooting guard Russ Smith says he plans on signing with Louisville during his Nov. 15 visit.

    “I’m going to sign on my visit,” the 6-foot-2, 160-pound Smith said Friday. “We’re still working on everything officially but I did give coach Pitino my verbal.

    “I liked his resume and everything overall, the program. It’s a big-time basketball program.”

    Sources said Louisville has yet to officially offer him a scholarship, but the coaches want to sit down with him during the visit and explain what his role would be.

    “[He] is going on his official visit to Louisville Nov. 15. Coach [Rick] Pitino and Coach [Ralph] Willard were out here a couple weeks ago and really liked him a lot,” South Kent coach coach Kelvin Jefferson said. “I think Russ wants to sign early and I’m sure Louisville’s at the top of his list.”

    Smith dropped 27 points in the Jordan Brand Regional Game back in April at Madison Square Garden and was named co-MVP of that event.

    He also holds offers from Houston and Baylor and may visit Baylor Nov. 23.

    “Baylor wants him to come in on the 23rd,” Jefferson said.


    Seton Hall commit Jesse Morgan has withdrawn from South Kent (Conn.).

    “Unfortunately, this was not the right situation for Jesse and I wish him luck at his next stop,” South Kent coach Kelvin Jefferson said.


    Ashton Pankey, another 6-8 forward from St. Anthony, is currently visiting Maryland.

    “He and his mom took the train down today and it wouldn’t surprise me if he really liked the visit, he might just take one more to compare apples to oranges,” Hurley said.

    (Photo courtesy Daily News)

    Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter

    Written by

    [email protected]

    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.

    • Devon made a very good choice.

      Corvallis is a small city and Devon should do well. Alot of rain with huge trees.
      He will be playing against some more NYC boyz: MoMo,Kevin Parrom,Sidiki Johnson, (Angel,Cook….lol)

      With the embarrassing game from ucla yesterday, Arizona should make some noise in the PAC10.

      Arizona’s offense is going to be explosive! Big Time run and gun style.

      • Wow, what a strange choice. Enjoy never being seen or heard from again. Craig Robinson will be out of there either by choice (i.e., he gets the DePaul job next year because of Obama) or he’s fired because the Beavers stink.

        jessie, based on Miller’s track record do you really believe your team will be “run and gun?”

        • UA played an uptempo style in their 1st exhibtion game. They are trying to implement a UNC/ Pheonix Suns style of play.

        • Robinson’s not close to the hot seat (he’s only been there a year). He may be moving on, but I see him more likely to leave Oregon State for Illinois when Weber gets canned (how he’s still there I’ve never been able to figure out).

          • RE: Craig @ Illinois- UI has never been able to get the top recruits out of Chicago (save for the few years Self was there). With Robinson they could definitely make great strides in that city and, as we’ve seen historically, Illinois can be darned good if they can lock up a few guys like Dee Brown, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, Julian Wright, Sherron Collins, etc

    • AZ,

      Any updates on Linda Marshia?
      Maybe a spring decision…

    • Woody and your little friend Hawk,

      Arizona offense was run and gun for its first exhibition game.
      To score almost 100 points with PG-Wise sitting on the bench ,most of the game.
      Wise will push it even more.

      I can see a few more recruits which would fit the Arizona system.
      Wonder if those recruits will be taking a FIFTH official visit?
      And yes Linda Marshia is thinking SPRING per what is being reported.

      • I know you’re not a big believer in facts, but Sean Miller is NOT an uptempo coach. Not even close.

        Last year they ranked 157th nationally in tempo. The year before he ranked 233. And this is with the most talent he ever coached. He will slow the ball down and limit teams to fewer possessions. That doesn’t make him a bad coach, just that he doesn’t like to run.

        That you put up 100 on an NAIA team isn’t a sign that you’re the new Loyola Marymont.

        • FWIW, Ben Howland’s team was 155 last year and 217 the year before. Self’s teams at Kansas are consistently 50th-100th in the nation in tempo. Sean MIller is a slightly less up-tempo coach than Ben Howland.

          And LOL that AZ didn’t even put up 100 on an exhibition school and you guys are talking about up-tempo.

    • jessie- Miller’s teams have never been uptempo in the past, it would surprise me to see them try and run all the time this year.

      KU scored 107 points in there exhibition game, and i fully expect them to average in the mid to high 70’s, becuause thats what self teams do.

    • I would say Ben’s figures are clearly misleading and not applicable to Arizona and ucla teams, of 2009/10.
      Case in point, ucla had an embarrassing performance. Barely scoring over 50 points and trailing the entire game.

      Yes, it is the first game but, Arizona up-tempo offense is going to continue.

      So, what is Ben and Hawk missing? ———————

      I senior point guard which is used to pushing the ball.
      Nic and company will continue the up-tempo offense.
      The guard play will continue to run and gun.

      We are looking forward to a team avg in the low 80’s to mid 70’s.

      PS- The PG ,Nic, only played 19 minutes.

      • Sean Miller’s career as a coach is a tad bit more important from a prediction standpoint than is one exhibition game. Expect to be slightly below average from a tempo perspective…

        UCLA will also be slightly below the mid point of tempo. I really can’t imagine you expect Howland or Miller to completely change the way they coach the game (or would even want them to).

    • jessie, I’ll roll the dice with my previous comments regarding “run and gun.” I’ll believe it when I see it. Exhibition ball proves what?

      FYI there is nothing misleading about Sean Miller’s Xavier teams…