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.
Only six of the 24 players in Saturday night’s Boost Mobile Elite 24 game have committed to college.
That makes 18 of the top players in the nation who are still on the board.
“I just think it’s because they haven’t taken officials or anything yet,” Las Vegas Bishop Gorman shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad told SNY.tv before scoring 25 points for the Raymond Lewis squad in a 142-132 loss to the Marques Johnson team.
“Most of these guys want to make sure they make the right decision, and I’m along with them,” added Muhammad, who plans to cut his list to seven schools relatively soon. “I also want to make the right decision and kind of wait and take my officials and see how that goes.”
Among those in the Class of 2012, Muhammad, Kyle Anderson, Perry Ellis, Brandon Ashley, DaJuan Coleman, Amile Jefferson, Mitch McGary, Tony Parker, Rodney Purvis, Anthony Bennett and Robert Carter Jr. are all uncommitted.
After he decommitted from Villanova Saturday, Savon Goodman is also looking for a school.
Among the Class of 2013 players in the game, Aquille Carr, Nate Britt, Nerlens Noel, Julius Randle and Aaron and Andrew Harrison are all uncommitted.
Between the two classes, only Bennett said he plans to wait until the late signing period in the spring.
“By November, I think we’ll have our fair share of guys committed,” ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi said by phone.
“I think guys are just wanting to take their time, get a feel for as many schools as they can so they can make the right decision,” the 6-8 Jefferson added. “I think sometimes guys rush into their decision…so I think everybody just wants to make sure they’re comfortable where they’re at.”
Jefferson said the players definitely speak with one another about potentially teaming up.
“We talk about it, it definitely comes up,” he said.
Jefferson said the college coaches will also pass messages through one player to another.
“I think Mitch is involved with Maryland,” Jefferson said, referring to one of the six schools on McGary’s list. “And I have had Maryland say, ‘Tell him that I said hi’ or something like that. And they will give him a call and Mitch will be like, ‘What’s up [to Jefferson]?’
McGary plans an official to Michigan Sept. 3, followed by an unofficial to Kentucky that same weekend. He then heads to see North Carolina Sept. 6-7, and to Duke Sept. 8-10.
Jefferson said he will take an official to Ohio State the weekend of Sept. 23. He recently took unofficials to Temple and N.C. State. He is also considering Villanova, St. John’s, UConn and Stanford.
“I’m still pretty wide open,” he said.
As first reported in my article for FiveStarBasketball.com, Muhammad and the 6-8 Anderson are considering joining forces at UCLA, the only school at which both are looking.
“We’re thinking about it a lot,” Anderson said Friday. “I mean, we’re thinking about it. I don’t know how far it will go, but there’s a definitely a possibility it could happen.”
“Kyle, me and him really want to play together in college,” Muhammad added. “Just building a relationship with these guys, trying to build up a team for college. We need guys to go with me so our team can be a national championship contender.”
Asked about the UCLA possibility, Muhammad added, “Yeah, I think it’s an option. We’ve been really talking about that. Pretty much he’s like my best friend now, so I’m always hanging around with him. We’re just talking about UCLA, what other schools he likes, what other schools I like.”
Anderson is also mulling Seton Hall, St. John’s, Florida and Georgetown. He has an official set for Florida the weekend of Sept. 16, and unofficials to Georgetown, Seton Hall and St. John’s before then.
Still, Anderson said he understood why so many players in the game are uncommitted.
“I think that’s really the smart thing to do,” he said. “I’ve never been a big fan of people committing early, but you know, it’s different strokes for different folks. I just think you need to see what’s going to happen with the team and wait really the longest you can.
“But me myself, I wanted to get it over before the high school season.”
**Anderson earn Co-MVP honors at Boost Mobile
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.