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.
Seton Hall-Bound Duo of Whitehead, Carrington Talking Potential Final 4
NEW YORK — In the first half of New York’s 113-89 rout of New Jersey in the Sharette Dixon Memorial Classic Saturday night at the Gauchos Gym, Isaiah Whitehead scooped a lob pass from the left edge of the paint to a cutting Khadeen Carrington on the right side of the basket.
“I was looking to dunk that one, but I couldn’t get it with my left hand so I just tipped it in with my right,” the 6-foot-3 Carrington told SNY.tv.
The two New York City prep stars and Seton Hall pledges are developing a chemistry — which can only spell good news for the Pirates beginning in 2014.
“He just runs the floor. I’m always the handler so he’s open, I just give him the ball,” said the 6-4 Whitehead, a likely McDonald’s All-American in 2014.
Whitehead, the Brooklyn Lincoln star who chose Seton Hall over St. John’s and others, finished with 14 points in the win, while Carrington, out of Bishop Loughlin, scored 8, including a dunk of his own later on.
Desi Rodriguez, Whitehead’s Lincoln teammate, led New York with 16 points en route to MVP honors, while Cheick Diallo of Our Savior New American added 15. Rutgers-bound Mike Williams of Loughlin tallied 14.
Vanderbilt-bound guard Wade Baldwin of St. Joe’s-Metuchen poured in 34 points, including a slew of dunks, for New Jersey, which was without juniors Isaiah Briscoe of Roselle Catholic and Moustapha Diagne of Pope John, who were listed on the New Jersey roster.
As for Whitehead and Carrington, they are developing a nice bond a year ahead of their arrival at Seton Hall.
“I think we complement each other a lot,” Whitehead said. “He’s kind of a slasher, I’m more of a shooter and distributor, so we’re going to help each other a lot next year.”
Carrington committed to Seton Hall on Sept. 11, and said he texted Whitehead that same night — even before he informed the press.
“I sent him a picture, I said, ‘Pirates, baby,'” Carrington said.
Eight days later, Whitehead committed to Seton Hall over St. John’s, Indiana, Pittsburgh and Minnesota, but Carrington said he sensed that it was coming.
“I kind of knew a few days later [after Carrington texted Whitehead] that he was going to commit there,” Carrington said. “The way that he was talking about the school, we both liked it. That’s how I knew that he was going to go there.”
The duo quickly set some lofty goals, too.
“When I committed I told him it looked like a good place to be,” Carrington said. “So after that when he committed, we said Final 4 , that’s a goal, freshman year.”
Including forwards Angel Delgado and Ismael Sanogo, Seton Hall now has the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation in 2014 according to ESPN.com.
Whitehead and Carrington are still trying to add a big to the class — and mentioned Diallo, the stud 2015 forward from Our Savior.
“Cheick look like a good piece,” Carrington said.
Said Whitehead: “We’re trying to get any 4-star or 5-star big men that’s welcome to come.”
Whether or not they add Diallo, Whitehead and Carrington will bring two athletic guards to Seton Hall next year to bolster current guards Jaren Sina and Sterling Gibbs.
“I think Khadeen and Isaiah are two highly competitive guys,” New York coach Terrance “Munch” Williams said. “I think they’ve been playing in several all-star games throughout the summer. Over the course of the year, they’ve shown that they can play hard together, share the ball and they both are two really competitive kids and defensively they want to get after it.
“They got a great chemistry in the open court, so I think they’re going to do a good job at Seton Hall, hopefully bring the program back to where they want to be.”
Photo: Kelly Kline / UA
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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.