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
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.