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.
BY ALEX KLINE
A few months ago, Braeden Anderson’s fate was sealed. The 6-foot-8 forward out of Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Massachusetts had signed a national letter of intent in the fall to play for Oliver Purnell and the DePaul Blue Demons.
After former Miami (FL) forward Donnavan Kirk announced that he would be transferring to DePaul next season, the forward position became crowded in Chicago and playing time would be limited. Anderson, a native of Calgary, Canada, talked to Purnell and decided it would be best if he found a new school. He decommitted on January 17th.
A month and a half later, Anderson is receiving attention from some of the top schools in the nation.
“Arizona offered, Oklahoma offered and Kansas offered,” he said by text on Friday. Rumors were swirling that Duke and Kentucky had offered or were close to offering but this is not the case yet. “No offer has come from Duke yet, but Kentucky should offer soon,” Anderson said. Both the Blue Devils and Wildcats have expressed plenty of interest in the uncommitted senior.
Anderson took an unofficial visit to Lexington last weekend for the Cats game against Florida. He enjoyed it and has built a strong relationship with Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne.
Payne, who came over from Oregon last year, is also recruiting another 2011 forward from the junior college ranks. Stan Simpson, a 6-10 forward out of John A. Logan Junior College in Illinois. Kentucky also have the option of offering shooting guard Trevor Lacey of S. R. Butler High School in Alabama.
Anderson’s situation has raised some eyebrows.
“It’s crazy what has happened with is recruitment since opening it up,” one college coach said. “His stock has risen tremendously and that shows how valuable a forward is in this class.”
One thing is certain: he likes the attention he is receiving. “I have gotten the diagnosis on my game from some of the best coaches in college basketball,” he stated. “They say I shoot the ball and handle it well enough to do it at the next level with my athleticism.”
As for what is next, Anderson will take an official visit to Kansas starting Sunday. Jayhawk assistant Joe Dooley watched the Wilbraham & Monson talent workout on Thursday. Dooley and head coach Bill Self thought it was right to offer.
If Anderson elects for Kansas, that would put another twist on the DeAndre Daniels situation.
RECRUITING RUNDOWNRyan Rhoomes, a 6-9 forward from Newark NIA Prep, received an offer from TCU and will take an official after the National Prep Championship.
Dakari Johnson, Kyle Anderson, Tyler Ennis and Kerwin Okoro attended the Marquette-Seton Hall game.
After taking an official visit to Seton Hall during the week, 6-11 big man Lekan Ajayi of Quality Education in North Carolina arrived at Tennessee on Saturday for his official visit.
Speaking of Seton Hall, Brandon Mobley, a 6-9 power forward out of St. John’s Military Academy in Wisconsin, arrived on Friday night for his official visit. Mobley took an official visit to Auburn recently.
Coming off an official visit to Oklahoma State last weekend, Cezar Guerrero of St. John Bosco in California is leaving the heat for the snow as he is at Iowa. The Hawkeyes are in need of a point guard as they are also recruiting Eli Carter out of Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. The former Western Kentucky commit, Guerrero, has also taken an official visit to Oklahoma.
Harvard has a huge weekend on and off the court as they hosted two huge 2012 recruits for their game against Princeton on Saturday. 6-8 forwards Landen Lucas of Findlay Prep in Nevada and Evan Cummins of Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachussets will both be in attendance for the game that will ultimately determine who wins the Ivy League title.
The Duke-North Carolina game on Saturday night will have two big names in attendance. 2012 forward Rosco Allen of Bishop Gorman in Nevada made a trip to the East coast, while freshman prospect Justin Jackson of Homeschool Youth Christian Association High in Texas is scheduled to be there as well.
Cincinnati hosted a huge recruit on Saturday for their game against Georgetown. 6-10 junior A.J. Hammons of Oak Hill Academy in Virginia took a visit to Ohio for the Bearcats contest.
While there is nothing surprising in recruiting, another strange happening occurred Friday night in the junior college ranks. De’End Parker, a 6-5 guard from City College in San Francisco, decommitted from California in order to commit to UCLA. Parker had chosen the Golden Bears earlier in the week.
One night after 5-8 sophomore guard Aquille Carr dropped 44 points in a win for Patterson High in Maryland, he was on the move again. This time, Carr made an unofficial visit to College Park for the Terrapins game against Virginia. He was joined by Montrose Christian star junior Justin Anderson, who told Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports that he would likely commit to either Maryland, North Carolina or Virginia sometime in the near future. Greg Whittington, another available 2011 forward, was also at the game. Maryland head coach Gary Williams recently offered Whittington, while Georgetown head coach John Thompson III watched him play.
2012 point guard Kareem Canty of Bridgton Academy in Maine found out that Texas A&M offered him a scholarship on Friday night. Canty is still deciding whether he will stay in 2012 or reclassify back to 2011, his original class.
Daniel Ochefu, a 6-10 junior forward out of Westtown School in Pennsylvania, took an unofficial visit to Temple on Friday. Ochefu enjoyed the visit and wants to go to Texas before he makes his college decision in the spring.
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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.