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 Planning Visits, Eyeing Spring Signing
By CHIP MILLER & ADAM ZAGORIAFRISCO, Texas — D’Angelo Russell is one of the top guards in the Class of 2014 and recently picked up offers from North Carolina and Florida to add to his stack of offers.
As of now, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard from reigning ESPN NHSI champion Montverde (Fla.) Academy is planning on taking a few visits in the coming weeks.
“I have a visit set up with Kentucky when I get back home and I’m trying to get up to Michigan State, Ohio State again, North Carolina,” Russell told SNY.tv. at the Nike EYBL stop here last weekend. “Those are the schools that I can think of that I have visits set up for.”
He does not hold a Kentucky offer as of yet.
Asked if he had a date set for the Kentucky visit, the Louisville native said, “No, sir. They said whenever I come home, just set it up.”
Russell’s former Montverde teammate, center Dakari Johnson, is part of the heralded six-man McDonald’s All-American class coming into Kentucky.
“Dakari makes it easy for you,” Russell said. “He’s got good hands. You get into the lane, dish it off, he’s finishing or he’s catching. He’s just always on the play, he talks, he’s a motor guy that can just bring so much energy and he’s a key player to any team that he’s on.”
Meantime, Florida was the latest school to offer, following on the heels of a Carolina offer.
“Coach [Roy] Williams is a winning coach,” Russell said of the Carolina coach. “His program is a winning program. It’s a big-time scholarship to have on the table. If it’s the right place for me to go, God will lead me that way.”
As for Florida, he said: “Talking about Billy Donovan, I haven’t watched Florida as much. I just know they are a winning school and Billy Donovan is great with his player development.”
Russell is a Louisville native and said he’s also being courted by the reigning NCAA champs.
“I mean, all the schools that are recruiting me, I’m high with now,” he said. “That they won the national tournament, I mean I felt like they were going to win it from the start. It was just a good group of guys and they were a family from the start. I don’t feel like that has raised them higher than any other school, honestly.”
Overall, Russell remains open and hasn’t trimmed his list as of yet.
“No, I mean it’s a million schools and my recruitment is wide open, so I don’t have any kind of scale to tell who is coming at me the hardest,” he said.
Because of that, he’s looking at waiting until the spring of 2014 to make a decison.
“Honestly,” he said, “I feel like I will commit as late as possible just so I can wait the class out and just make sure I go to the right school,”
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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 and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, 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.