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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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Saturday / September 23.
  • Saturday Recruiting Rundown

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    By ALEX KLINE

    As the college basketball regular season is on the verge of coming to an end, a number of important visits and moves in the recruiting world took place on Saturday.

    **The big story of the day was the huge guest list for Kansas’s Border War against Missouri. The game, an instant classic won by the Jayhawks, 87-86 in overtime. had 2012 and 2013 Kansas commits Brannen Greene, Perry Ellis, Conner Frankamp and Landen Lucas in attendance.

    On top of that, Bill Self and staff hosted three of the top unsigned seniors in the nation — JaKarr Sampson, Shabazz Muhammad and Tony Parker — for official visits. Sampson, a former St. John’s commit from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, is being recruited the hardest by Providence, but is also looking at Baylor, Florida, St. John’s, Texas and others. Muhammad, the top wing prospect in America, will head to Duke next weekend for an official visit. As first reported by SNY.tv, he will be joined by senior forward Amile Jefferson of Philly Friends Central on the trip to Cameron Indoor. Parker, another unsigned senior from Miller Grove in Georgia, is also looking at Ohio State, UConn, Duke, UCLA, Memphis and Kentucky. Parker, Muhammad and Sampson will all decide in the spring.

    **Arizona also had a big weekend of visitors. Despite 2014 small forward Stanley Johnson of Mater Dei (Calif.) not being able to make his visit, the Wildcats hosted Tyler Ennis, Stephen Zimmerman, Elston Jones and Justise Winslow. Zimmerman, a 2015 big man from Bishop Gorman, and Jones, a 2014 power forward from Millenium in Arizona, were there for Arizona’s exciting 65-63 win UCLA. Ennis and Winslow arrived for weekend trips. Winslow – the 2014 small forward from St. John’s in Texas – in on his third unofficial visit in recent time as he was at North Carolina last weekend and attended the Baylor-Texas game Monday night. Ennis — a 2013 point guard from St. Benedict’s in New Jersey — was on his second unofficial visit after making a trip to Syracuse two weekends ago. He plans to visit Louisville in the near future. (For more on Ennis, watch the SNY.tv documentary here.)

    **Seton Hall had a strong group of visitors for its rivalry game, a 77-72 overtime loss to Rutgers. Local underclassmen Karl Towns, Hallice Cooke, DeAndre Bembry, Wade Baldwin, Jermaine Lawrence, Malachi Richardson and Brendan Boyle were all in attendance for the game.

    **St. Joe’s also hosted a solid group of visitors for their 82-72 upset of No. 22 Temple. Davon Reed, BJ Johnson, Jared Nickens and Rashard Figures all attended the game. All three juniors are being pursued or have offers from both schools. Figures, a 2014 guard from Hackensack (N.J.), was watched by St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli earlier in the week and could pick up an offer in the near future from the Hawks.

    **Two major names at Syracuse’s 71-69 victory at UConn were Jaylen Brantley, a 2013 point guard from Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.), and Kahari Beaufort, a 2014 point guard from St. Raymond’s in The Bronx. Also in attendance for the game were Chris Baldwin, Justin Stewart, Sultan Olusekun, Ben Judson, Connor Merinder and Tyonne Malone.

    **Here area few more recruiting notes from the weekend: 2013 point guard Jaren Sina of Gill St. Bernard’s (N.J.) picked up an offer from Memphis after speaking with coach Josh Pastner...2013 Brimmer and May (MA) point guard Adrian Oliveira visited Vermont…2014 Bishop Seabury (KS) shooting guard Khadre Lane visited Wichita State…2013 AC Flora (SC) guard Matt Howard visited Wake Forest…2013 small forward Ishmail Wainright — a former Missouri commit — and Kevin Zabo, a 2014 point guard, out of Montrose Christian (MD) took in the Georgetown-Villanova game today…Northeastern offered Stephen Croone, a 2012 point guard from Newton (GA)….2013 Math, Civics & Sciences (PA) forward Jeremiah Worthem attended the Delaware-Northeastern game…Minnesota offered 2013 Springboro (OH) center Maverick Morgan….Pittsburgh offered 2012 Teaneck (NJ) shooting guard Chris Jones. Jones scored 14 points Thursday night when Teaneck downed Don Bosco Prep, 62-53, in the Bergen County Jamboree final…2014 Blair (NJ) shooting guard Mike Silverthorn visited Yale.

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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.

    • Kansas just gave these recruits all it had to offer. Probably the loudest most exciting regular season game in the Phog ever!!. If any of these recruits don’t sign they did not want to play for Kansas period, and nothing could have changed there minds. I am still beaming from that game, greatest game at the Phog ever. Fear the Phog baby!!

    • most of them don’t want to sign with ku. i’m sure they had a good time

    • thanks for the insight boston. ku is no uk of course but i think the program still attracts recruits

    • mike,

      It is not Kentucky recruits want to play for it is Calipari. Tubby couldn’t get kids to come the last couple of years he was there, and neither could Gilespie. Kentucky will get exposed in the tournament. The SEC is not good at all. The second best team just got beat by Georgia who is pretty bad and the game was not even clos. Kentucky has not been blowing teams out in the SEC. They will come into the tournament thinking they are the greatest team ever and lose.

    • no doubt ku will attract recruits. as far as getting exposed in the NCAAT. we will see. the SEC sucked last year according to everyone. didn’t seem to bother uk much. and considering how ku seasons have ended recently, not sure i would comment about being exposed. maybe its the big 12 that isn’t so great. all those consecutive conference titles, but flame outs to mid majors. isn’t that the definition of being exposed?

    • Boston,

      I have no come back!! Point taken.

    • i do have a reply. my 1st post was laced with sarcasm all over it saying ku is no uk. uk is by far the best team talent wise this year. without a doubt. the sec is a trash league in bball, but that doesn’t mean uk will be exposed. the tournament is a different animal year in and year…and the best “team” can be beat any given day. I’m sure none of us here had vcu, uconn, uk, or butler last year. ku has had set backs in the tourney with teams that if they played 10 times, ku would win 8 0r 9 of those games. upsets will happen when your in the tourney year in and year out. uk is a great program and team, will leave it at that….for now….

    • Durant, Beasley, Griffin and the B12 isn’t so great? While the B12 may not be the top league, each year it is ranked 2nd or 3rd among the power conferences by every objective source.

    • i don’t think a big 12 fan should be calling the SEC a “trash” basketball league. 40% of the big 12 has .500 records or worse. and i’m talking over all record! considering its only 10 teams…..thats not very good at all. then 3 teams who are bubble teams at best.

      70% of the conference is essentially worthless. i’m not saying the SEC is great, its not…but i don’t get why a big 12 fan would trash it when it is far a great league basketball wise.

    • NCAA tourney wins in last 5 years:

      UK: 7 (only counting the big boy tournament, rest assured we didn’t forget your NIT birth)

      KU: 15

      Duke: 11

    • 60% of the B12 is ranked in the KenPom top 30.
      33% of the SEC is ranked in the KenPom top 30.
      There are 5 SEC teams ranked below the #7 and 8 teams in the big 12 in KenPom’s rankings.

    • cat, as i mentioned this is not a hit against uk. they’re a fellow blue blood program and have a great history and have a great future as long as calipari doen’t let his umass or memphis past catch up with him. but honestly, the sec in bball? i’ll give you football hands down, with the big 12 being 2nd. but that’s neither here nor there and this is about bball. hey, if you believe that outside of uk and the majority of the time florida that the sec is a good bball conference than by all means preach. just don’t see it from here.

    • Check the UK tourney wins, I shorted you guys 1. The correct total should be 8 in 5 years.

    • dislike uk and carolina, but respect their program’s. respect duke, arizona….haha dislike and NO respect

    • Kentucky is the favorite to win it as far as I’m concerned, but if a UK fan is going to talk ish on KU’s tourney performance they’re going to get straight facts.

    • in the last 5 years in the NCAAT, these are the teams KU has beaten to get those 15 wins:

      2006-2007: (16) niagra, (8) UK, (4) southern ILl
      2007-2008: (16) portland st, (8) unlv, (12) nova, (10) davidson, (1) unc, (1) memphis
      2008-2009: (16) north dakatah st, (11) dayton
      2009-2010: (16) lehigh
      2010-2011: (16) boston u, (9) illinois, (12) richmond

      9 of the 15 wins were against double digit seeds. just 5 wins against teams from other BCS conferences and 3 of those were bubble teams

      these are the facts right? which is why none of this really matters. fans for some reason need to pound their chest over stupid stuff like how good conference A is over B.

    • a tourney win is a tourney win. no need to argue numbers between the two. both have alot to argue about. good luck to your team cat. i myself will be in new orleans, and would like nothing more than to see ku play down there

    • i agree mike. win games that is the name of the game. doesn’t really matter who you do it against.

    • So what’s your point, Boston? You say it doesn’t matter after you take the time to document all the games KU has won in the last 5 years. I’m not even sure that I understand why you’re putting the names of the opponents we’ve faced, if your program is the winningest program over the selected time period chances are you’ll see a lot of wins against 16s and 8/9s, that’s how it works when you’re a 1 seed.

    • i guess my point is that i don’t know why some ku fans would talk down or talk crap about other teams and conferences. when clearly there isn’t much to brag about.

      i don’t see how beating a crappy texas tech or oklahoma team is some awesome accomplishment but beating a crappy usc or uga team is a joke.

    • Because they are KU fans and they are hyped up about regular season. But we all know they will be quiet after the first weekend of the tourney.

    • @Boston, obviously every league has its bottom feeders and I know you know this. The difference is a team like Oklahoma or Okie St is objectively ranked higher than 40% of the teams in the SEC-in other words, if the worst 5 SEC teams were in the B12 the best team (using kenpom rankings) would rank 9th in the B12. If this coupled with the fact that the B12 has more teams in the top 30 doesn’t clear it up for you, I don’t know what will.

      @BJ, does basketball even exist in Arizona anymore?

    • Lol. Just getin ready for the tourney and would love nothing more than to see KU in the 2nd rd perhaps. Great game at the phog yesterday only caught last ten min and ot but it sux 2 see all these great rivalries come to an end 4 no apparent reason.

    • just what i wanted to see on here, a ua fan. soooo ku fan’s get hype about the regular season that actually consists of playing games and counts wins and losses? whereas ua fan’s hype up the preseason where there are no wins or losses and talk about the west is rising bear down? oh look at our great recruits, this is our year trash. get a clue! arizona is not a TOP program. stick to your second tier place in college basketball uofa. like myself and cat stated earlier, it’s about wins and titles. not preseason hype. bear down your second rate coach and keep those recruits coming. kansas just stays consistant and continues a WINNING tradition no matter who is on the court or on the sideline, as does uk and the other blue bloods. run along little brother, the west is not rising!

    • You r a idiot , Kentucky was trash 3-5 years ago unc was garbage two years ago UConn two years ago and KU will be garbage next year. Every team has a bad season once in a while. Arizona is in a transition year and is still going to make the tourney unlike some of these teams mentioned above. I understand you r still bitter bc miller owns self and you r still sad u missed out on Tarc , but you need to get over it and enjoy your last great reg season for awhile.

      Should be fun to chat with you after KU flames out of the tourney in a couple weeks.

    • clap back u, you have nothing to reply with except FUTURE predictions. much like the preseason hype you spew. the majority of ua fan’s have been saying kansas is on the decline, but yet i don’t see it and you don’t either. 8 straight maybe? exactly, you have nothing to say as i mentioned regarding wins or conference titles, or championships….just preseason mess with NO games on the court being played. if i was to play your game of ohhhhh we have these recruits coming in, then kansas is not going any where. playing time is availiable and recruits are taking notice. but i don’t play your delusional what if game. keep your preseason “stats and wins” clown! they mean nothing. transition year, don’t you mean years….plural? i can assure you NO 1 in the state ok kansas or in rock chalk nation would rather have miller over self. in fact i don’t think any fan of any team would make that call. congrats on tarc….i guess danny will have to “coach em up” with what have. I’d say he has a fairly decent track record going for him.

      don’t worry about ku and the tourney….just keep tabs on ua and the bubble watch or nit invite! next

    • since your limited on knowledge and follow ku so closely, lets use the last decade as reference to your kansas is on the way down argument. how many players has ku lost to the league? how many coaching changes? how many players with a very very limited role step in the following year when players are lost to graduation, transfer, or early exit and step up….walk-ons included? has ku had the #1 recruiting class every year? see a pattern u? it is kansas, always consistant no matter the players or coaches. i don’t expect you to fully grasp that because your not a blue blood. rock chalk

    • That’s funny

    • that it is u, that it is. so are your baseless replies with no substance. you have nothing of any meaning to argue. tongue twisted you might call it. keep up the what if and future predictions my friend. it’s all about the preseason in your world, apparently thats all that matters. next

    • forgot to mention, there’s some new articles regarding kansas that just went up on here. better make sure you jump on since you have to stay in the know of anything ku. just a heads up

    • Lol

    • much better u, your finally getting it. keep your comments on here when ku is mentioned to lol’s and haha’s, just pipe down from here on out. anything regarding ua on a ua article feel free to speak that make believe, what if propaganda. now move along and focus on the west

    • That’s funny stuff

    • That’s all it is, is KU being mentioned bc they won’t land anyone.
      Stick to the 3 stars

    • Btw how are your learning disabled recruits doing that couldn’t get on the floor this year.

    • Ok, 1 more time for the simple guy uofabj. U, does kansas win? Do they have the top class every year yet still win? 2 star, 3 star, 4 star, 5 star….ku wins! Prove me wrong, you can’t. That’s the whole point, you have no argument what so ever. You play to win the game. No preseason hype on paper or predictions, wins! Debate ended! What was d Williams for you last year….a 5 star guy? I’d say he did alright for not being a top 10 recruit. Try again dummy. As far as the 2 you asked about, their just fine. Waiting their turn and learning as every ku kid does.

    • Are they in SPECIAL classes?

    • Yes u i’m happy to report they both are. Both have wood shop together. Your like a cubs fan with all of the next year talk. You have nothing to base any argument off regarding actual games. Games that scores are real and there is a winner and a loser. You have absolutely nothing to reply with other than your magic 8 ball and next year. Figure that out and help yourself out please . Your very limited on all of this but I wont give up hope for you

    • How far did KU go in tourney last year?

    • ok u, before i answer that i will warn you. you talk about ku fan’s living in the past and their future is on the down slide…..but i really don’t think you want to put up arizona history, wins, and numbers against kansas’s. but, with that said…seeing that i have substance to what i say and the gentleman that i am, ku lost in the elite 8. the same round ua did. kansas was the last #1 left and was upset by a play in game team out of the colonial league, vcu. ua beat duke and had a great game from d wiiliams. congrats to that. does that answer what you asked? you see, that’s how it works, you asked a question or made a statement and i replied. something that you have yet to do with anything i’ve said or asked because you get stumped and have no reply. oh, and so you know, kansas had 1 5 star. we don’t get all the 5 stars that ua does year in and year out. i guess bill self and his nc and 84% winning percentage makes do and finds a way to be somewhat successful

    • i honestly can not understand how an arizona fan can argue with a ku fan. you guys have been talking about how bad the SEC is but what about the pac 12. Thats the funniest joke of them all. i havent seen a pac12 highlight of a game on sportscenter since missouri played cali

    • rck, all but 1 ua fan i have seen comment on zag’s good site here are all the same. i enjoy a good debate with other fan bases such as the uk’s, duke’s, carolina’s, mich. st etc….don’t like their team’s but respect and listen to their opinion’s. the “west is rising, bear down” ua junk on here is extremely comical. trying ever so hard to fit in with the best of the best. i’ll tell ya ua gets 1 nc, acouple final 4’s, have a top recruiting class and you would think that they have more wins than uk and more titles than ucla. it’s like a royals fan arguing with a cardinals fan in the mlb. just doesn’t add up. nothing to base their arguments off, but boy they try. seems they have a lot of fortune tellers in their fan base also. all the ku is gonna be 1 step away from being an naia school and will only get 2 and 3 star players talk, so and and so forth. thats all i see out of their fans execept for 1 on this site. always making sure to comment on a kansas article that has nothing to do with ua. i guess to each their own. it’s always a good day to be a kansas bball fan. rock chalk

    • How is this article not related to Arizona ? It’s a shabazz article and last time I checked he had ZONA on his list still. Lets get something str8 I will comment on whatever story I feel necessary, bc I can and u can’t do shit about it. And on the real I have never put Arizona history against KU and would never do so bc it would be stupid. Also I have never said all this west is rising crap u speak of, however the PAC will be back very soon in hoops and just an FYI PAC is top athletic conference in the country and has and will be 4 a long time.

    • the last comment deserves a uofabj “lol.” “on the real” you have a track record of posting on anything ku related, as does 95% of all ua fan’s on this site. again, i see you have no true response to anything i say. you are correct good sir, you can comment on any article you choose. but….your lack of knowledge on the subject reflects each time you look into your crystal ball with your future baseless predictions. you have nothing to say, point blank. fyi, you can have swimming, volleyball, track, etc… when basing your “TOP” athletic conference remarks. I think the majority of fan’s nation wide care about bball and football. would you still say the pac is the top athletic conference then? if so, more power to you friend….it doesn’t surprise me that you would make a statement like that. i mean you pull all of your statements out of a magic hat or from a magic 8 ball. my question would be, if the pac is so dominant, why are they never on the main networks?? just a thought. good day to you sir, rock chalk

    • PAC 12 is the best athletic conf hands down not even close. And what’s wrong with PAC football they r top 3 every year. With all due respect to KU they don’t have the athletic programs to compete in the PAC and they never will. The difference in athletes from Kansas and Arizona is not even close. Now if it was a farming contest U might have a chance but it’s not. Bottom line is no real athletes come from Kansas and your state is garbage.

    • ok u, your too simple and too easy. what sports are you referring to when stating that the pac 12 is the best conference? can you answer that? or will you shy away from the question and become puzzled? your far from the top football conference…and i hope you aren’t going to mention bball. and i’m not even implying this year alone. come to think of it the last 2 times the almighty pac 12 has faced the big 12 in a bcs game, i believe the big 12 team have walked away as the victor. correct me if i’m wrong. top 3 every year? a head of the big 10, sec, and big 12? hmmmmm, think about that. as far as ku can’t compete in the pac 12, is that why you added those 2 terrific teams in utah and colorado? what are they known for again? and since we’re on football, how many bcs games have ua or asu won again? that’s right, ku has an orange bowl win. when is the pac 12 on tv? might try and catch a game. now, since you still have yet to win a single debate, and need to try and win 1 with mentioning farming and no athletes…..you with your great knowledge of recruting should know that player’s on your roster are not all from that state……so your point is what? i’m in kc, besides the winter, i enjoy it here. now young man, what more to you want to state or ask. you’ve lost the bball argument seeing that you want to change subjects, as well as the pac 12 amuzement, whatcha got next little guy.

    • All sports
      Every year look it up
      Keep writing those novels they are pretty funny.

    • no need u, their not and the fact that you actually believe that without any factual information puts you in the same category as your brother, jessie jessie. care to reply with anything i stated or asked chief?……that’s what i thought

    • More NC than any conference.
      Not even close.
      PAC12 conference of champions

    • Pac 12 is DECENT in football ill give them that. they have had a couple teams get to the big game as of recent but no wins. Big 12 has texas oklahoma oklahoma st and even ku if u wanna go all the back to 2008 lol (i do). since then the big 12 has more bcs wins and more championship appearances. but in reality this is a dumb argument because the SEC ultimately kicks every conferences ass each year. but head to head big 12 > pac 12. the facts say it all

    • oh and if u wanna go individual we got the heisman this year to lol

    • Rck, let u be. He has completely missed the point. In order to try and save face, he is now using the conference his team plays in, to somehow try and prove that carries over to ua basketball. Which it doesn’t. His team at ua is not elite. Yet, because they have a great recruiting class coming in, he makes predictions about games that havent been played. His team doesn’t come close to kansas whether it be in the past, or the present. Just non sense about preseason this and that. He has nothing to reply regarding ku wins, titles, numbers…..past or present. Let him live in his make believe word where Arizona has multiple everything. Rock chalk

    • U are right if talking certain sports, but I’m talking all sports.

    • alright, i’ll buy in and drink the tainted kool aid. arizona basketball is the best, and kansas basketball is terrible. the pac 12 wins everything every year. kansas should get rid of their bball program all together because it’s on the way down.

    • Well Said