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.
Anderson Visits RU; Hall Falls to Xavier; IU Lands Two
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — The best news for Rutgers fans coming out of Sunday may not have been the team’s 16-point drilling of Miami at home.
No, the best news was that Kyle Anderson was there to see it.
The 6-foot-8 Anderson sat about 10 rows up behind the basket with his mother, Suzanne. He had a perfect view of Dane Miller’s breakaway dunk that sent the student section into a frenzy late in the game.
Asked at halftime if he could imagine himself playing at Rutgers, Anderson said, “Yeah, I could. I like staying close to home so I definitely could see playing here.”
His mother also wants him to stay local, in the “Big East.”
No one’s saying Anderson, the No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2012, will land at Rutgers, but it certainly doesn’t hurt their cause that he was there on a day when the team hammered an ACC opponent amid an exciting environment.
On a day when 2011 Rutgers commits Kadeem Jack and Myles Mack, St. John’s pledge Maurice Harkless and West Virginia commit Jabarie Hinds were all in the house, Anderson was the biggest uncommitted name in attendance.
Mount Vernon coach Bob Cimmino and Nate Blue, the mentor to both Harkless and Rutgers frosh Mike Poole, were also courtside.
All in all, that is good news for Mike Rice and Rutgers.
If you don’t think it’s good to have the support of power brokers like Cimmino, Blue, St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley and Playaz director Jimmy Salmon, well then, you need to get your head examined.
As for Anderson, he recently visited both UCLA and Xavier and here’s what he had to say.
On UCLA: “I liked it out there on the West Coast. It’s a different type of vibe. I liked it out there.”
Asked if he could imagine going that far away, he said, “I’m still thinking about that. That’s a pretty long way from home.”
On Xavier: “The presentation was great. They showed me the whole academic view and the basketball view, so I got a lot out of it.
“They had a tough loss while I was out there, but I can see the team is going to get better. So I liked it out there at Xavier.”
What’s interesting is that Anderson is actually being recruited at a number of different positions. He can play the point, the two, three or even the four.
“I haven’t decided what I want to play in college,” he said.
He added that he was looking for a school that is not “so point-guard dominated unless I want to play point guard.”
Anderson said he has no list right now but plans to announce a year from now during the early signing period.
In the meantime, he is making the transition from the Nike of Paterson Catholic to the Reebok of St. Anthony. Practice begins on Friday under Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley.
What’s the goal?
“National champs,” he said. “Hopefully we finish No. 1 and I think we got a great chance of doing that.”
XAVIER DOWNS SETON HALL
Speaking of Xavier, the Musketeers downed Seton Hall, 57-52, Sunday night in the semis of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.
Xavier will play Old Dominion in the title game tonight, while Seton Hall plays Clemson.
New York native Tu Holloway scored a career-high 31 points and hit a fade-away 3-pointer in the corner with just 17 second left to ice the win.
“Terrell—what can you say? The kid is a total gamer,” Xavier head coach Chris Mack told Fox Sports Ohio. “He’s an extension of the coach on the floor. He makes big plays in big moments—the moment never, ever seems too big for that kid.”
Seton hall senior Jamel Jackson connected on his only bucket of the game, a 3-pointer to tie the score at 52, with just 50 seconds remaining, setting up Holloway’s dramatics on the ensuing possession.
Senior Jeff Robinson led four Pirates in double-figures with 15 points. Junior Herb Pope had 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Seton Hall played the game without its leading scorer Jeremy Hazell, who broke a bone in his left wrist during the Pirates’ 83-78 victory over Alabama on Friday. Hazell was averaging 24.0 points per game and will miss the next 4-to-6 weeks while the injury heals.
IU LANDS TWO
Indiana coach Tom Crean continues to stockpile young talent by landing commitments from 2013 standouts Devin Davis Jr. and Collin Hartman during a weekend visit to campus.
The 6-6 Hartman, who averaged 15.4 points as a freshman, told the Indianapolis Star he was also considered Butler, Michigan State and Purdue.
“I always felt like it would be a gut feeling when I knew,” Hartman told the paper. “It felt right with IU.”
The 6-6 Davis chose the Hoosiers over Illinois, Purdue and Xavier.
“He wants to be part of something special,” Warren Central coach Greg Graham told the Star. “What coach Crean is doing there with Hoosier Nation is going to be something special. There’s a lot of buzz right now, and getting these in-state kids is really going to have people talking.”
Indiana has signed 6-10 senior center Cody Zeller and 6-6 senior guard Austin Etherington and secured commitments from 7-foot Peter Jurkin, 6-8 Hanner Perea and 6-3 guard Ron Patterson, all juniors.
Two top freshmen — 6-9 forward Trey Lyles and 6-3 guard James Blackmon — have also pledged to Indiana.
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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.