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.
PHILADELPHIA — Package deals are all the rage these days.
LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh did it.
Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow are talking about it.
And now so are a couple of other 2014 stars.
Rashad Vaughn, perhaps the top shooting guard in the Class of 2014, and Josh Perkins, one of the top point guards in the class, plan to huddle here this week to talk about potentially playing together.
“He’s a great player,” the 6-foot-3 Perkins, who is now sporting dyed blond hair, told SNY.tv here at the Reebok Classic Breakout.
“We wanted to go to the same high school but it didn’t work out so now we’re planning to play in the same college.”
Said Vaughn: “I’ve been talking to Josh Perkins about going to the same college, we’ve been talking about that…We’re probably going to sit down this weekend and talk about all that.”
Asked how good the two of them could be together in college, Perkins said, “It’s a great 1-2 punch. I don’t know a better shooting guard so it would be tough.”
Among the schools in the mix for both players are Kentucky, Kansas, Baylor, Minnesota and UCLA.
Perkins, who recently transferred to Huntington (W.V.) Prep, also lists USC, Gonzaga and UConn, and says he may cut his list soon.
The 6-5 Vaughn also lists North Carolina, Iowa State, Georgetown, Tennessee, Arizona, Syracuse, Texas and recently added an offer from UNLV.
He has not cut his list yet, and said Minnesota is the only one that will definitely make it. Minnesota coach Richard Pitino has made Vaughn a priority and is also working hard on Perkins.
“Minnesota definitely because they the home team,” Vaughn said of schools that will make his list. “That’s the only ones I know that’s definitely going to be on the list.”
“I’ll probably do it at the end of the summer, narrow my list,” Vaughn added, saying that he may trim it to eight.
Kentucky coach John Calipari texted Vaughn to let him know he would be here Wednesday to watch Vaughn play fellow 2014 Kentucky target Emmanuel Mudiay at 5 p.m.
Vaughn said Iowa State, Minnesota and North Carolina also texted to say they’d watch him.
“Feels good that [Calipari] is coming,” Vaughn said. “A lot of coaches coming so it feels good.”
Having offered Jones and Mudiay at the point, Kentucky has not yet offered Perkins.
“Waiting for an official offer,” Perkins said.
He is is dealing with a back injury that has kept him out of action for a couple of weeks and called it a “four or five” on a scale of 10 in terms of pain.
As for playing in front of Calipari later, Perkins said, “It would be good but I wish was 100 percent when he’s here, but you gotta play.”
Perkins said Baylor, Gonzaga, UConn, Minnesota and USC also told him they would be watching him.
He is planning on visiting Kentucky and UConn sometime in August.
“We start school Aug. 7 so it’s probably going to be after then,” Perkins said of those visits.
As for the UConn visit, Perkins said, “East Coast basketball is a little different but UConn’s a great program and we’re going to see what they have to offer.”
UCLA is also a possibility, since both players have already visited.
“I got a good relationship with the coaches, the facilities are real nice,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn is working with Robbinsdale Cooper assistant Pete Kaffey on becoming a more efficient scorer this summer.
“Prove I can play multiple positions and showing everything in in my game,” he said. “Be more efficient. Working on taking better shots and taking smart shots.”
Next week, Vaughn will team up at the Nike Global Challenge on the loaded USA Midwest team with Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander, among others.
“I don’t think we’re going to be able to lose so we’re going to be pretty good,” he said.
You have to figure a slew of coaches, especially from places like Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina and others, will be tracking that team.
“It should be packed, the stands should be packed,” Vaughn said.
As for Wednesday night, Vaughn is looking forward toward going toe-to-toe with Mudiay in the first game.
“Every time we play we end up going at it all the time, so it should be fun,” he said.
Looking ahead, a Vaughn/Perkins duo could be pretty dangerous if one college program can pull it off.
“We want to play down the future and we want to win,” Perkins said, “so relationships at the end of the day mean a lot.”
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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.