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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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Monday / March 19.
  • Kadeem Jack Considering Carolina Visit

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    Kadeem Jack is a hot commodity right now, so hot that the North Carolina Tar Heels have come calling and Jack is interested.

    The 6-foot-9 senior forward out of Manhattan Rice High School is planning a visit to North Carolina sometime soon although no date has been set.

    “They called me a few times,” said Rice High School coach Maurice Hicks, who will soon become the Director of Basketball Operations at St. John’s. “[Assistant] coach [Steve] Robinson has called.

    “Kadeem has contacted them. I think there could be a visit coming up in the near future.”

    Hicks didn’t rule out the possibility that Jack could even end up committing to the Heels if he were to visit.

    “He’s the type of kid, he’ll probably wind up doing that,” Hicks said. “If he goes down there for a visit, he’ll probably go.”

    Damian Leslie, Jack’s mentor, echoed Jack’s interest in the Tar Heels.

    “I’m pretty sure it sounds like a promising situation,” Leslie said of North Carolina. “I don’t think he would turn that one down. It sounds more like he would visit though.”

    The Tar Heels will lose 6-10 twins Travis and David Wear to transfer, Deon Thompson to graduation and Ed Davis to the NBA. Even with the return of 7-foot Tyler Zeller and 6-10 John Henson, they are in need of some size.

    Jack, who averaged 16.9 points and dropped 24 points and 20 rebounds on Villanova-bound forward JayVaughn Pinkston and Bishop Loughlin in January, has become an attractive option late in the game for the Heels.

    “Now North Carolina is calling and they’re showing interest,” Hicks said of Jack.

    Jack initially held offers from Arizona, Arkansas, UConn, Miami and St. John’s, but opted instead to attend South Kent (Conn.), a prep school that has taken on several New York high school players in recent years.

    Yet since ZAGSBLOG first reported Jack’s decision to go the prep route, North Carolina, Memphis and Texas have become involved.

    “He has two more official visits,” Leslie said. “They have to be chosen wisely.”

    (Photo courtesy Daily News)

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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.

    • Shocker!

      • They can have him. He won’t contribute like they want or need him too. He is a project that will take a few years to mold.

        Hell, even he said he needed some work to do.

        • i love comments like this. if he picked zona he would be a great pick up and a great player going to do great things. instead he passed on you guys and now its time to put him down.

          classic sour grapes.

          • Really? Wow you know EVERYTHING!

            Hell no! I never wanted this guy! Arizona is obviously rebuilding and we need players who just need a little polishing not who are a complete rebuilding project.

            Jack himself even admitted he needed more time at a lower division before he stepped into a bigger program. We can’t afford to give what little scholarships we have to players like that; we have plenty as it is. We need guys who can come in from Day 1 and contribute. Vargas is on my list to fill that role, NOT Jack.

            Carolina can afford to have a project like Jack when they are surrounded by McDonald’s All-Americans. We can’t.

    • All we need for next season is:
      -Zeller and Henson to stay healthy;
      -Barnes and Graves to spell in the post;
      -and Jack (if he comes, of course) to be able to provide a big body, rebound, and defend.

      I seriously doubt he would be rated so highly if he could at least be size off the bench.

    • No, we definitely wanted him Boston Cat. And it probably is sour grapes. But he is and was a project and was never expected to contribute much his first year (doesn’t mean he won’t). But for that reason, many Arizona fans including myself wanted Eloy Vargas more even before Jack spurned us.

      • if you dont get vargas, will you rip him too?

        • Umm Boston Cat when did I rip Jack? Clearly reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit. I even admitted it was sour grapes. Calling a high school senior who has played three years of basketball a project is not ripping him. Get a clue. And I was saying this before he spurned us.

        • Umm Boston Cat when did I rip Jack? I even admitted it was sour grapes and that Arizona would love to have him. Calling a high school senior who has played three years of basketball a project is not ripping him. Get a clue. And I was saying this before he spurned us.

          I can’t stand it when people bag on recruits that you lose out on. I’m not crazy with the way he handled the situation but I’m not gonna act like we didn’t want him. And for the record, I have read many statements from UK fans talking about Leslie in the same regard.

          I never ripped Jack, nor will I rip Vargas. Your posts are usually pretty good- you must be hung over or something.

          • i really didnt mean you…i mean you as in zona fans. sorry about that

          • Fair enough Boston Cat; I apologize for my harsh tone, uncalled for. I tried to tone it down (removed the reading comprehension comment for example) but it already had posted unbeknownst to me.

            Blasphemy says UK is not after Vargas; what are you hearing? Seems to be conflicting opinions on the SEC transfer rule.

            The best part of college basketball is the season never ends…I love following the recruiting.

          • no problem man, its cool. 100% agree with you on the ripping recruits thing though. i dont like it when uk fans do it, and they do. and i tell them as much on our own boards. they are getting “tired” of the t. jones thing. drives me crazy.

            regarding vargas all i know is that his grades are a mess and needs a miracle to get qualified. i dont think its a matter of straight A’s being enough by the sounds of it.

            but that JUCO he is at….there job is to get kids eligible. seeing him play at uf, which is to say not seeing him play much, i wouldnt expect much from him anytime soon from a production stand point.

        • No we won’t! He is a player that we want and need. If we don’t get him, there will be no putting down.

          And I wasn’t talking shit about Jack. Everything I said about him as far as being a project is true. Hell even he admitted he needed more polishing before going up to a major D1 school.

          The two players we were going after to play the post were Jack and Vargas. 98% of our fan base knows we need Vargas so Jack turning us down is no big deal. And he didn’t just turn us down, he turned down other major programs as well; UCONN.

    • Jack is a project, and we all knew that recruiting him, he has such tremendous upside we would have been a glad to pick-up. Very similar to Jordan Hill. Oh well, no love lost, he didn’t want to come here, and he didn’t want to go to UCONN or any other school that talked to him for that matter.

      Let’s try and wrap up this class with Vargas

      • UCLA and WVU too AZWildcat; pretty good list already.

        if we are losing out on recruits to UK, KU and UNC after a 16-15 season we must be doing something right, as strange as that sounds. Just wait until Miller starts winning (which will be this coming season!)

    • Our bigs are pretty bad Boston; I expect Vargas would start at the 5 for Arizona.

      Re: T Jones, its out of control. I read he is being harassed by all of the fan bases. Still, he kind of brought it on himself, dragging it out, making a spectacle of his announcement and then immediately waivering.

      Sounds to me like he wants to go to UK but the distance and ties are pulling him to UW. Who knows…

      • wow are your bigs that bad? vargas played less then 4 minutes a game in 2008 season, just 9 games. unless he has blown up in the last 12 months, you have to have better options.

        i dont really blame jones for all of it. he looked pressured into doing that announcement. there were a bunch of other players there doing theirs. if the kid wasnt ready and its clear he wasnt, he shouldnt have been up there.

        i dont think distance is a factor. i think he has the personalty that he wants to make everyone happy and as a result doesnt want to let anyone down. and make no mistake about it….people around him, coaches, school administrators, friends, etc all want him to local. the great thing about it all is that i think he has great parents that are supporting him 100% and arent pressuring him to go to one school or the other. so in the end i think he will make the decision for himself.

        • Outside of DWill, they weren’t good. Natch is a project still, and has upside. Jacobson is a big goof who gets spot playing time. Vargas struggled at UF due to grades and an ankle injury. He avg. 21/14 last season, and his grades have greatly improved. He was 2nd team NCJAA All-American as well. He is who we need. I liked Jack, but knew he was a little raw, and it looks like he did too.

    • AZ-

      When is the real story going to be told…lol

      Did it start with the BOOK rejection?
      Book turning down the St.John position is a NO BRAINER.
      That position was a MAJOR STEP DOWN.

      But, imagine, if BOOK does take that position.
      The boyz in the East would be loving it.
      A nice tight group funnelling things to ST. Johns.
      Enjoying seeing their players in local areas-games.
      Real nice SET UP.
      Sorry, BOOK can smell a set up.

      Not a very nice position for BOOK.
      It was a BAD situation which would turn into NYC bad.
      You know what I mean.

      So, the after effects…
      NYC folks talking about BOOK.
      As if he was not one of theirs.

      Could of this be true?

      PS- Finally, we get to talk about that sinking ship called North Carolina.
      The TWINS are out.
      And the TWINs have talked to ST JOHNS??
      K.Jack is better off going the Prep direction.
      Because NC will “spit”/throw you out, next year.
      For sure.

      • Are you serious? UNC is not a sinking ship. If they are, explain how they have a top 5 recruiting class? Or how they WILL have another top class in 2011? Or that they won the national championship LAST YEAR?

        You, sir, are delusional. So, Book funneling recruits to St. John’s is bad, but funneling them to Arizona is good? Please explain that. Makes no logical sense. Sounds like hypocrisy to me.

        The Wear Bros. were never UNC material anyway. Overrated and coming from a overhyped high school did them no favors. Why waste 2 schollies on the same player? Smart decision for UNC and the Wears to leave.

    • Lavin is just a place holder for BOOK.

      Expect BOOK’s name to surface ,in two years.

      BOOK ,as HEAD COACH…is a much better deal.

      No Brainer.

      Right NYC folks.

    • UNC a sinking ship? C’mon Jessie

    • LMAO @ Jessie’s reference to UNC as a “sinking ship.” Just another in a long line of reasons why nobody takes you seriously. By the way, how are the “Three Amigos” working out? Yeah, Book really influenced those decisions. Dude, you should go back to posting your lame smack on the UCLA boards.

      • I know right…just another idiotic statement. Makes no sense