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.
Justise Winslow will announce his choice on Thursday at 4:30 ET, Houston St. John’s athletic director Vince Arduini confirmed to SNY.tv.
“He’s going to make his choice tomorrow at 3:30 [CT],” Arduini said by phone. “It’s just going to be a simple deal here at school. We are not promoting any sort of national TV exposure.”
Because today (Wednesday) is the last day of the NCAA early signing period, Arduini said it was possible Winslow could send in his NLI on Wednesday and still announce Thursday.
Winslow is down to Arizona, Duke, Florida, UCLA and Texas A&M.
UCLA assistant David Grace watched Winslow play Tuesday when St. John’s visited Houston Westside. Florida also had its staff in last week to see Winslow. Winslow has also visited Texas A&M on several occasions.
Arizona just received a commitment from Mater Dei (Calif.) wing Stanley Johnson and even though Winslow and Johnson have talked about packaging together , it’s also important to remember that they play the same position.
“I think what happens is when they go to these camps and they’re in the same room and they start talking, I’m sure in their perfect world it will happen,” Robin Davis, Winslow’s mom, told SNY.tv in September. “Stanley used to play with Justise in the sixth grade here in Houston. His mom used to fly him in and they established a relationship then.
“But I think everyone is looking for something different and hoping that they’ll have a friend join them.”
Meantime, Duke last week landed Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, and both Jahlil and Chuck Okafor, Jahlil’s father, have openly campaigned on Twitter for Winslow to join them.
“I need all my Cameron Crazies to tweet #DukeNeedsJustise! Get it done, he’s the missing piece. #DUKE#DukeNeedsJustise,” Jahlil Tweeted Monday.
Winslow and Okafor played together this summer on the gold-medal winning USA U19 team, but Winslow has been coy about his desire to play with the dynamic duo.
“I would like to play with them, but I gotta do what’s best for me,” he told SNY.tv this summer. “I got other guys, like Stanley I would to play with too, but at the end of the day I gotta do what’s best for me and my family.”
Obviously, if Coach K adds Winslow to next year’s core of Okafor, Jones, Rasheed Sulaimon and Rodney Hood, Duke would be even more of a favorite to contend for an NCAA championship in 2015 than they are now.
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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.