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.
D’Angelo Russell Goes Off for 21, Talks Recruiting
By SEVE COUSINSSpecial to ZAGSBLOG
ROSELLE, N.J. — Kevin Boyle and Dakari Johnson enjoyed their homecomings this week in New Jersey.
But D’Angelo Russell looked right at home, too.
The 6-foot-4 Montverde (Fla.) Academy guard scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second quarter as Montverde, the No. 1 team in the ESPN.com rankings, routed host Roselle Catholic, 77-51, in the Holiday Hoops for Troops event. Russell made five 3-pointers in a three-minute span in the period.
West Virginia-bound forward Devin Williams also had 21 points for coach Boyle’s team in its return to New Jersey. Syracuse-bound Tyler Roberson led Roselle Catholic with 14 points and Haikim Santil added 12.
”D’Angelo Russell broke the game open when he hit the five straight threes,” New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski told SNY.tv. “he’s got to get a little better playing off the dribble but he’s a terrific spot-up shooter.”
Russell’s performance came in front of a packed house that included the likes of DaJuan Wagner,William Wesley, aka “World Wide Wes,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III, Terry Dehere, Malik Allen, Syracuse associate head coach Mike Hopkins and North Carolina assistant Hubert Davis.
Russell plays alongside Florida-bound point guard Kasey Hill, West Virginia-bound forward Devin Williams and Johnson, the No. 1 center in the country who is considering Kentucky, Georgetown and Syracuse.
Russell is from Louisville, Ky., and has been talked about as the best player to come out of Louisville since Rajon Rondo, who went on to star at Kentucky.
Rondo was said to have been overlooked by Louisville coach Rick Pitino and the Cardinals program that chose to go with Sebastian Telfair (who went straight to the NBA instead).
The same thing cannot be said about Russell, who already holds offers from Louisville Florida, Indiana, Ohio State, Missouri, N.C. State, Xavier and Tennessee, among others.
Russell told Alex Kline he plans to visit Missouri, Florida, N.C. State, North Carolina, Ohio State and Louisville soon.
”I just look at the coaching staff, the guys that are there and who’s leaving when I get there,” Russell said.
He has no plan on committing any time soon.
“I’m probably going to make my decision as late as possible to let the class of 2014 commit,” he said. “I’ll be able to see if I want to play with somebody or separate myself.”
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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.