Recent Posts
About ZagsBlog
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.
Follow Zags on Twitter
Contact Zags
Connect with Zags:
Monday / March 19.
  • 12 Schools in Good Shape Heading Into Late July

    Share Zagsblog Share Zagsblog
    Beginning Wednesday, college coaches from across the land will head out to Las Vegas, Orlando, Atlantic City and other spots for the last evaluation period of July.

    Plenty will be on the line as the 2013 class is chock full of difference-makers and talented players who will soon decide their college plans.

    Here’s a quick (unscientific) look at 12 schools in good shape with recruits heading into the final evaluation period.

    1. Kentucky — As discussed in this story from Monday, Kentucky is, to no one’s surprise, involved with a Who’s Who of 2013 talent, including Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, the Harrison Twins, James Young, Aaron Gordon and Andrew Wiggins (who may or may not reclassify), among others.

    2. Florida — While everyone else is pursuing players, Florida landed a verbal pledge from 2013 forward Chris Walker on Sunday. A future pro, Walker will pair with AAU teammate Kasey Hill to give the Gators a devastating 1-2 punch beginning in 2013. Florida remains involved with some very big fish, including Jermaine Lawrence, Austin Nichols and Rondae Jefferson in 2013 and Chris McCullough in 2014.

    3. Duke — Coach K is leading the Dream Team this summer, but he still remains very much alive for both Jabari Parker and Julius Randle, as well as others like Marcus Lee, Austin Nichols and Allerik Freeman. Parker, the No. 1 player in 2013, could well decide between Duke, Michigan State and Kentucky.

    4. Michigan State — Chicago recruiting expert Roy Schmidt thinks MSU has as good a shot as anyone at Parker because of his relationship with coach Tom Izzo and its proximity to Chicago. Izzo also tracked wing James Young and point guard Wes Clark of The Family at the Peach Jam, and Clark told the two could potentially package there.

    5. Syracuse –– The Orange have to be considered the clubhouse favorite for CIA Bounce and St. Benedict’s Prep point guard Tyler Ennis, who has led his team to the finals of both the Nike Global Challenge and the Peach Jam. Syracuse is also in the mix for Jermaine Lawrence, Rondae Jefferson, James Young and Wes Clark in 2013, Chris McCullough in 2014 and Isaiah Briscoe in 2015.

    6. North Carolina — Heels coach Roy Williams followed Andrew Wiggins at the Global Challenge and the Peach Jam, and although Wiggins is likely headed to Kentucky or possibly Florida State, he is known to like Carolina as well. Julius Randle could also land with the Heels, although they have stiff competition from Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, N.C. State, Texas and Baylor.

    7. Washington — The Huskies are the favorite to land 6-9 forward Aaron Gordon, who had 16 and 10 in the Peach Jam final despite facing injuries. Gordon is a high-flying, dunking machine similar to Blake Griffin who would be a major score for coach Lorenzo Romar. UW is also in the mix for West Coast forwards Marcus Lee and Jabari Bird, among others.

    8. Arizona — Sean Miller and company have secured a pipeline to the Oakland Soldiers, having landed Brandon Ashley, Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner in the past. Now they have a shot at Aaron Gordon, Jabari Bird and Stanley Johnson, a two-way stud who may have been the MVP of the Peach Jam final. The Wildcats are also among Rondae Jefferson’s final 7.

    9. Louisville — Already loaded for the upcoming season, Louisville is hoping to land Tyler Ennis at the point guard, but they’re in a tough battle with Syracuse and Illinois. Rick Pitino’s crew is also in the mix for Hampton, Va., teammates Troy Williams and Anthony “Cat” Barber, who are talking about a potential package to Louisville or Alabama, if Barber doesn’t go to Kansas.

    10(t). Alabama — Head coach Anthony Grant was all over the Nike circuit following Troy Williams and Cat Barber, among others. If he could land the athletic duo, they could cause major damage in the SEC.

    10(t). Kansas — Bill Self and Joe Dooley were also all over the Nike events, following Cat Barber, Julius Randle and Al Freeman, among others. Their best shots appear to be with Barber at the point and potentially Randle up front. KU is also involved with 2013 forward Jermaine Lawrence and 2014 forward Chris McCullough, both of New York. Austin Nichols also mentions KU.

    10(t). Indiana — Head coach Tom Crean and assistant Kenny Johnson have a good one in forward Trey Lyles, who excelled alongside Andrew Wiggins with Team Canada at the Nike Global Challenge.  They are also in the mix for big man Beejay Anya, who is tight with Johnson and IU commit Stanford Robinson, as well Marcus Lee, Jaquan Lyle and Trevon Bluiett


    Written by

    [email protected]

    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.

    • LMAO….

      The West is no longer drinking that Cool Aid about kensucky and duke. duke is not even a top15 team. Marcus Lee is not going there. Never. The West knows what is going on with Duke. (Ugly stuff)

      And no one in the West is believing Washington.
      We already know UDub is a BUST!
      GT snagged S.Domingo. And Romar was clueless.
      Jabari Parker said hell no to PIMP U.
      They picked up a no-name center from FIU.
      And seriously, no elite BIG goes to UDub. No one. So,scratch Marcus Lee. His Bro is not sleeping.

      Something is stirring up.

    • Nice write up zags, but no mention of Keith Frazier and Arizona?
      He is pretty much a lock to Zona,and a consensus top 15 player.
      Arizona looking to fill 3 scholarships only in 2013.
      Keith Frazier, Aaron Gordon, and rondae Jefferson.

    • Hey why no mention of the local boy Reggie Cameron?? from Nj, especially with him receiving high interest/offers from three of these twelve school’s
      like Florida,North Carolina and Indiana that’s going into the late July.

    • I don’t see how all 12 schools are in “Good Shape”. Wiggins, Randle, Jefferson, Parker, et al are on several schools shopping lists. Once the top guys start committing, many of these schools will no longer be in “Good Shape”. For some, July’s confidence will be replaced by a nervous November.

    • KU and Randle is a long shot i think he seems to be a Wildcat. Still hopeful tho! The whole Barber situation scares me too…. i could just see us striking out. Jermaine Lawrence seems to really like us because we offered him before he moved up so far on the lists and we were one of the first to recruit him

    • Media Journalism 101 – If you have no real info, make a list of possibilities that is a rehash of recent articles from around the country. Would place a wager that some of these coaches don’t necessarily feel that they are “in good shape” with eligible recruits. No commits, just possibles. In real good shape (until you’re not).

    • Yep, Dixie saw right through this POS article.

    • Kentucky has no problem recruiting the best of the best so no kool aid needed here.