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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Ryan Arch to Villanova; USF Lands 7-3, 290-Pound Big; Boatright to Visit UConn, UNLV and Oklahoma
Ryan Arcidiacono, the No. 8 point guard in the Class of 2012 out of Langhorne (Pa.) Neshaminy, has verbally committed to Villanova.
Arcidiacono was one of many recruits to attend Villanova’s Midnight Madness event Friday night and said he called head coach Jay Wright to commit on Sunday.
“It was a great fit,” he said by phone. “They love to push the ball. They’re an up-and-down type of team.”
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Arcidiacono said his decision came down to Villanova and Florida. But location was the deciding factor.
“A big factor was family,” he said. “It’s just a half hour from my house. My family can be at every game. I’m one of six kids; there’s eight people in the family, including one brother-in-law. I just wanted to stay close to home.”
Both of his parents, Joe and Patti, also attended Villanova, which didn’t hurt.
“It’s such a great fit,” Ryan said. “They’re a Top 10 program. The players were great, the staff was awesome. It was a great visit and I just loved it.”
Before Arcidiacono arrived at Neshaminy High, the program had gone 3-22 in each of the previous two seasons, or 6-44 combined.
They made the district playoffs his freshman season. During his sophomore year, they reached the state playoffs for the first time since 2000 before falling to Penn Wood.
Arcidiacono was named second-team All-State in Pennsylvania’s Class AAAA grouping after averaging 18 points per game.
Gene Rice, Arcidiacono’s AAU coach, said the kid takes 1,000 shots a day, five times a week using a shooting machine at the coach’s house.
“He’s going to be an impact player,” Rice said. “He’s going to be a 6-foot-4 point guard that can attack, that can shoot the 3 consistently, that will play so hard that Jay Wright’s going to love coaching this kid. That’s what I told him, ‘You’re going to love coaching this kid.”
Rice added: “He’s excited, he’s pumped and he’s got a chance to be the face of the program.”
Now that Arcidiacono committed, he wants to focus on helping his high school team win a title.
“It’s such a big weight off my shoulders,” he said. “Now I won’t have as many coaches at open gyms. I can concentrate on getting better and concentrate on getting Neshaminy a championship.”
OMOGBEHIN TO USFJordan “T.J.” Omogbehin, a 7-foot-3, 290-pound center out of Chesapeake (Va.) Atlantic Shores, has verbally committed to South Florida, per his Twitter account.
“Its official people imma USF bull,” he wrote.
His Twitter handle is @BigDanger92 and his Twitter page says, “im probably one of the biggest person u will ever see.”
One Division 1 head coach said, “I’ve never seen anyone bigger.”
“He should be a football, not lineman, line,” said recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski. “He’s got a great body. He’s raw, very raw. He dwarfs people. I saw him at an AAU tournament and he actually made Darryl Dawkins look small.”
Walt Webb, the head coach at Atlantic Shores, said Omogbehin, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, also considered Georgetown, which he visited unofficially during his tenure at National Christian in Fort Wash, Md. He has been at Atlantic Shores since last month.
But after a weekend official to USF, he pulled the trigger.
“He’s going to be a tough player,” Webb said. “He’s 7-3, 290. He definitely demands a double team. He has great hands. He’s skilled defensively.
“Offensively, he’s better than your average high school kid, but he’s got a long way to go. His upside is huge. Being in the Big East, he’s a physical presence. He’s going to do well. USF definitely got a steal with that one.”
BOATRIGHT TO VISIT UCONN, UNLV AND OKLAHOMARyan Boatright, who decommitted from West Virginia Friday, will visit UConn, UNLV and Oklahoma, his mother told the Chicago Tribune.
No date has yet been set for the UConn visit, sources said.
The 5-10 Boatright decommitted four days after committing, and three days after Mount Vernon point guard Jabarie Hinds chose West Virginia on SNY.tv.
“Ryan committed first,” Tanesha Boatright told the Tribune. “Anybody who read anything about it knows how he feels about the school and Coach Huggins, so the situation speaks for itself. I wish the best to Coach Huggins and don’t have anything negative to say about the way it ended up.
“I told my son it doesn’t make a difference who did what and why, just stay focused on what’s ahead. I’m just thankful as a mom he has these options to go to college.”
Boatright also considered Providence, but they just got a commitment from Kyan Anderson for 2011.
That leaves UConn, UNLV and Oklahoma, all of which are still seeking floor generals.
Boatright initially committed to then-USC coach Tim Floyd a month after completing eighth grade.
(Photos courtesy Rivals, Jordan Omogbehin and Chicago Tribune)
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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 and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, 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.