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.
PATERSON, N.J. — On Tuesday night, about 48 before he announces his college choice Thursday afternoon at Lincoln High School, Isaiah Whitehead had a conversation with his good friend, Isaiah Briscoe.
The talk turned to Whitehead’s imminent college announcement and the Brooklyn Lincoln star said he wanted Briscoe, who is a junior at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic and a year younger than Whitehead, to join him in college.
Among Whitehead’s final five schools — St. John’s, Seton Hall, Indiana, Minnesota and Pittsburgh — St. John’s and Seton Hall are both actively recruiting Briscoe, too.
“We was just talking about schools and where he was thinking about going and things like that,” Briscoe told SNY.tv after dishing a pass to Chris Silva that led to a game-winning dunk as Roselle Catholic beat Gill St. Bernard’s 41-39, in a Fall Ball game at Paterson Kennedy High School.
“I told him, ‘Isaiah, you have the potential to be one-and-done,'” Briscoe said. “I’ve known Isaiah since we was about in fifth grade. I’m not going to lie to him, he got the potential to be one-and-done and I told him that.
“He said, ‘I know but if i don’t then it’s going to be me and him in college.’ But I told him I’m not going to accept that. He was trying to recruit me but I told him I wouldn’t accept that. I want him to be one-and-done because he got the potential to be.”
Asked if Whitehead mentioned playing together at a specific school, Briscoe flashed a wide smile and said Whitehead was “just talking generally.”
The odds of the two Isaiahs actually playing together in college would appear long.
Arizona coach Sean Miller and assistant Book Richardson are hard on Briscoe’s trail and will be in to see Briscoe at Roselle Catholic on Thursday — at the same time Whitehead is making his announcement in Brooklyn.
Briscoe will also take an unofficial visit to Rutgers on Saturday, and said he plans to visit St. John’s soon.
“I plan to visit within a week or so, go see their practice and go see the campus,” he said.
Briscoe said he will have to do what’s best for him in college, and of course there’s the possibility that Whitehead will be one-and-done and thus will be in the NBA when Briscoe steps foot on a college campus.
Still, Seton Hall and St. John’s fans can dream — at least for now — of a potential all-Isaiah backcourt.
“Yeah,” Briscoe said, “I’d consider playing with him. I would love to play with him, he’s a great player.”
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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.