Count Bob Huggins and Rick Barnes among the high-major coaches targeting LaQuinton Ross, a 6-foot-8 junior wing from Burlington (N.J.) Life Center Academy who averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds last season.
“Bob Huggins flew in Monday. Rick Barnes came on Tuesday,” Life Center coach Wilson Arroyo said, referring to the West Virginia and Texas head coaches.
Since transferring in January from Jackson (Miss.) Murrah High School, Ross has generated a lot of interest from Big East schools.
Arroyo said Syracuse associate head coach Mike Hopkins, Villanova assistant Doug West and Seton Hall assistant Steve Sauers all came in last week to watch Ross.
Oklahoma State also flew in to watch Ross. Kentucky, Memphis and Maryland called to express interest. Mississippi State, Baylor and Temple are also involved.
“The schools recruiting him the hardest right now are Texas, West Virginia, Syracuse and Villanova,” Arroyo said. “Mississippi State, Memphis and Kentucky are somewhere in the mix.”
Dion Waiters, Ross’s teammate at Life Center, is headed to Syracuse and Ross told BoxofMess.com he would definitely consider playing for the Orange.
“I probably plan on taking some [visits] this summer…I’m going to narrow [my list] down to the top five next summer. Top five, Syracuse will be in there,” Ross said in the BoxofMess interview.
As for Seton Hall, Arroyo and Sauers are close and after the Seton Hall assistant invited Ross to check out a college workout, he did so on Thursday.
“I know Steve Sauers pretty good,” Arroyo said. “He and Coach [Kevin] Willard are doing some really good stuff in workouts and Steve said if Q wanted to come out and watch a college-style workout, he could. I wanted him to go up there to see what a college-style workout is.
“Seton Hall’s not far from here. He can do as many unofficials as he wants.”
This summer Ross will attend the NBA Top 100 Camp and the Kevin Durant and LeBron James Nike Skills Academies.
With the addition of Ross to the roster, Life Center has become a hot commodity next season.
Arroyo said the team has been invited to numerous high-profile tournaments and will play in three PrimeTime Shootout events; the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass; and the Battle by the Bay in New Jersey.
“We’re getting invited to everything,” Arroyo said.
GJUROSKI TO LA TECHStojan Gjuroski, a 6-7 senior small forward who started alongside Ross at Life Center, has committed to Louisiana Tech. Gjuroski had offers from Quinnipiac and Iona. He averaged 8 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.