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.
Cliff Alexander Cuts to Six; Says Kentucky Is Out (UPDATED)
Cliff Alexander has cut his list to six schools.
The 2014 Chicago Curie big man, currently en route to Jakarta, Indonesia for the 3-on-3 World Championship with Team USA, Tweeted this list Monday:
“My top 6 schools NO ORDER Michigan state, Illinois, Memphis, DePaul, Kansas, Arizona.”
In this video interview with Scott Burgess of ChicagoHoops.com, Alexander had said Kentucky is no longer on his list.
“No, they’re not anymore,” he said.
Asked who was on his list, Alexander said, “It’s pretty much the same, everybody except Kentucky.”
Alexander’s mother, Latillia, later told SNY.tv that Kentucky stopped calling him.
Kentucky does remain involved with Jahlil Okafor and Myles Turner, two of the other top big men in the Class of 2014.
Okafor, Turner and Alexander are currently 1-2-3 on the DraftExpress.com 2015 NBA Mock Draft.
Asked when he might pick a school, he said, “middle of December,” meaning he wouldn’t sign until the late period in the spring.
Alexander reiterated that he wants to play college ball with guard JaQuan Lyle, who recently decommitted from Louisville.
“We’ve been saying it since he played with me with D-Rose, we’ve been saying we want to play college together,” Alexander said.
“It’s a great experience, I think we can win a national championship if we end up at the same school.”
The two will trip together to Memphis for an official visit on Oct. 18.
Alexander has already visited DePaul and Arizona, and still plans to take officials to Kansas (Oct. 4), Memphis and Illinois (Oct. 26) and possibly an unofficial to Michigan State.
On DePaul: “It was a great visit. I enjoyed myself. I built a great relationship with Coach [Oliver] Purnell and all the guys.”
On Arizona: “I love the weather out there. It was hot but I loved it. And coach Sean Miller is a great guy, built a great relationship with him and Book Richardson is too. And built a great relationship with the players. I had a great time out there.”
On Kansas: “It’s going pretty good so far. I been knowing coach [Jerrance] Howard since he was at Illinois. He’s the guy that offered me my first scholarship so I love him for that.
“Coach [Bill] Self was at my house last week taking to my parents, building a relationship with my parents.”
On Illinois and why he’s taking an official there: “Just because I like Illinois, just because I think coach [John] Groce is a nice guy. I love him.”
On Illinois 2014 pledges Leron Black and Quentin Snider: “I played with Leron. Leron is a a best friend of mine. He’s a great kid. And Quentin is a great kid, too. I love hanging out with him.”
On Memphis: “Coach [Josh] Pastner is a great guy, a lot of energy, good positive energy. He was at my house last night talking to my parents, having a great time with them.”
On Michigan State: “[Coach Tom] Izzo, everything about him. He’s a great guy, I love him.”
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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.