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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.
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Saturday / September 23.
  • It isn’t often that a player decommits from a school and then ends up committing there a second time.

    But that’s exactly what happened Thursday night when 6-foot-3 shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. of Marion (IN) High pledged to Indiana.

    Again.

    He first committed before ever playing a high school game but then decommitted from the Hoosiers in August to explore his options, This time around, Blackmon Jr. chose the Hoosiers again over Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State and Kansas.

    “Just really the way Coach [Tom] Crean recruited me as a main priority,” he said on ESPNU as he slipped on a Hoosiers baseball cap. “And the way that I see myself impacting the program and keeping Indiana back on top. I think I can get them back on top and where they need to be.”

    Devin Booker is headed to Kentucky.

    The 6-5 shooting guard announced for the Wildcats at Moss Point (MS) High School. He also considered Missouri, his father’s alma mater, Michigan and Michigan State.

    “I’ll be playing college at the University of Kentucky,” he said at the press conference.

    “You can’t ignore what [Kentucky coach John] Calipari is doing right now,” Booker told SNY.tv this summer. “He’s winning national championships and putting players in the league, so that’s what you want to see. That’s everyone’s dream to play in the NBA if you’re at this high level. So Kentucky, that’s a good look.”

    Kevon Looney, the 6-foot-8 power forward from Milwaukee Hamilton, gave UCLA a treat and five other schools a trick on Halloween.

    In a press conference delayed two hours by some school bureaucracy, Looney picked UCLA over Duke, Florida, Michigan State, Tennessee and Wisconsin. According to Rob Hernandez, UCLA edged out Tennessee in the final analysis.

    “California was a great place, UCLA was a great campus, the most beautiful campus I’ve ever seen,” Looney says in the above video. “Coach [Steve] Alford, great coach. On the visit, I seen their team, I seen how they bought in to the system, him being new there. They got a great style of play out there, I can fit in. I like his vision he had for me.”

    In the span of less than 12 hours today, three players in the Top 30 of the Rivals150 for the Class of 2014 will announce their college decisions.

    Here’s a quick primer on what’s ahead on this busy and exciting recruiting day.

    Kevon Looney (Rivals No. 13) — 12 p.m. (EST)

    The Milwaukee power forward will announce at noon at Alexander Hamilton High School and has a current list of Duke, Tennessee, Florida, Michigan State, UCLA and Wisconsin.

    Duke is considered the favorite, but the 6-foot-8 Looney has kept his cards very close to the vest during the recruiting process.

    Wherever he goes, Looney figures to be an impact player.

    “I’ll bring a versatile player,” Looney told SNY.tv earlier this month. “I think I can score the ball. I’ve become a much better shooter. I’m getting stronger. I can defend multiple positions. And I’m a great rebounder.”

    MCW DraftBy JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NBA debuts don’t get much better than what Michael Carter-Williams was able to produce for the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday evening.

    The former Syracuse star and 11th overall pick in the NBA Draft went off, scoring 22 points to go along with 12 assists, nine steals and seven rebounds as the Sixers, who are thought by most to be tanking this season in an effort to cash in on the talent-heavy 2014 NBA Draft, stunned the Miami Heat, 114-110, at Wells Fargo Center.

    Carter-Williams’ numbers weren’t just impressive for a rookie, they were impressive for anybody. Since 1985, only three players (Michael Ray RIchardson, 1985; Clyde Drexler, 1986; Alvin Robertson, 1986) have had a stat line of 20-10-9-7. No one in at least the last 30 years has gone 22-12-9-7 as Carter-Williams did on Thursday.

    Devin Robinson, a 6-foot-8, 175-pound forward from Christchurch (Va.) School, announced for Florida on Wednesday.

    Robinson also considered Oklahoma State, Notre Dame and Indiana..

    UConn had been on his list, but Robinson cancelled his recent visit there.

    Florida currently has two pledges in 2014 in point guard Chris Chiozza and shooting guard Brandone Francis.

    “Devin has tremendous upside; his best basketball is ahead of him,” his coach, Ben Thompson, told SNY.tv. “He has the ability to shoot and score the ball. He impacts the game on both ends with versatility, is an underrated passer, rebounds well for his position and is a team player.”

    Chicago Curie big man Cliff Alexander won’t visit Michigan State on an unofficial and is done with his trips.

    “No, he’s not going to MSU so we are done with the away visits,” his mother, Latillia Alexander, told SNY.tv.

    She added that Memphis is  due in today for a home visit, Illinois is coming tomorrow and Kansas may also come at some point.

    The 6-foot-9 Alexander is down to a final five of Illinois, DePaul, Michigan State, Kansas and Memphis and will announce Nov. 15 on ESPNU.