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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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Friday / February 23.
  • Briscoe, Towns Star at JEM Classic; Recruiting Roundup

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    By ALEX KLINE

    BURLINGTON, N.J. — When Basketball Spotlight’s Mike Melton put on another terrific event in the JEM All Star Classic at Life Center on Saturday, a number of incoming freshmen stole the show.

    The North team defeated the South by a score of 96-90 in a game that featured players with offers and even a few potential McDonald’s All Americans down the road.

    By far, the biggest story of the day was Karl Towns, a versatile 6-foot-10 2015 forward from Piscataway, N.J. who released where he would attend high school for his freshman year.

    “I’ll be attending St. Joseph’s in Metuchen,” he said. “The school has a great combination of education and athletics. It’s not to far from home, as well.”

    Towns has looks from Kentucky, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Florida, Xavier, Villanova and more, according to his father, Karl Towns Sr, a former Monmouth standout.

    Along with almost tearing down the entire rim on a dunk attempt, the big man had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks to go along with a few NBA range 3-point shots.

    Along with Towns, the North team was paced by the New Jersey Playaz backcourt of Nassir Barrino (Hudson Catholic) and Isaiah Briscoe (St. Benedict’s Prep), who combined for 34 points.

    Briscoe’s handle and Barrino’s ability to score were ridiculous. While the 5-foot-11 point guard from Hudson Catholic is not hearing from any schools yet, according to his uncle and father, colleges could come in soon during the fall. Because Barrino will play with Reggie Cameron, Kavon Stewart, Mike Young and other highly recruited players, he should receive some high-major looks in the future.

    Briscoe, on the other hand, has offers from Baylor, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Cincinnati and DePaul. He is also drawing interest from Syracuse, Duke, Georgetown, UConn, St. John’s and more.

    Sam Foreman, a 5-9 point guard from Haverford in Pennsylvania, led the South team with 18 points. He and future Life Center power forward Manny Thomas were dominant. The 6-foot-6 big-bodied Thomas went to work in the paint and could be a huge piece of the puzzle in rebuilding the Life Center program.

    RECRUITING RUNDOWN

    Central Florida landed commitments from Dylan Karrell, a 2012 in-state center, along with DeVon Walker, a 2012 in-state wing.

    Jarmal Reid, a 2012 forward from Georgia, will be making the cross country trip to Oregon State and will play for Craig Robinson and the Beavers. He committed on Saturday night, a source close to the program confirmed.

    BJ Stith, a 2014 in-state guard and son of UVA’s all-time leading scorer, Bryant Stith, made a verbal commitment to Virginia. The Cavaliers hosted him and his brother, Brandon, along with talented 2014 point guard Kevin Zabo and his teammate, Justin Anderson, a Virginia commit.

    Along with that, over 100 basketball players took official or unofficial visits to college campuses this Labor Day Weekend. Here is a team by team rundown of who was on campus –http://www.therecruitscoop.com/labor-day-weekend-visit-schedule

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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.