By ADAM ZAGORIA and JACK LeGWINMalachi Richardson has cut his list to six schools.
“My list cut to 6 NO ORDER : Villanova , Rutgers , Arizona , Indiana , Syracuse and Uconn,” he Tweeted.
The 6-foot-5 Richardson cut North Carolina, Ohio State, Georgetown, Florida, Miami and Kansas.
He visited Villanova Aug. 28 and was at both Indiana and UConn in October. On Tuesday, he will attend the Indiana-Syracuse game at Syracuse on an unofficial visit.
Richardson transferred back to Trenton Catholic after helping Roselle Catholic win the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title last season alongside incoming Syracuse freshman forward Tyler Roberson. He will take a visit there on Tuesday.
“It would be amazing to go play for Coach (Jim) Boeheim at Syracuse,” Richardson told SNY.tv on Friday. “He’s a great coach. He’s an awesome guy, playing up at Syracuse is something that I’ve always wanted to do. They really have a good team with a great group of guys.”
If Richardson chose to commit to UConn, he would be the second recent commit for Coach Kevin Ollie, joining Sagemont (Fla.) guard Prince Ali.
“Going to play for Coach Ollie would be amazing as well,” Richardson said. “He’s been in the NBA, he knows about the game, he knows the ins and outs, and he has been through it, too. He’s a fantastic teacher, a great coach, and he’s got everything that you could want from a coach. Getting that personal experience from him would be great.”
Richardson said that Indiana’s prestige, and tradition is huge for him, as well as his relationship with head coach Tom Crean.
“Indiana tradition to me, speaks for itself. It really says a lot,” Richardson said. “To have that Indiana across your chest with the no-name in the back, it really can’t get better than that to me. It really shows how far the school goes. Its not about the player, its about the school.”
Richardson said that he plans on taking a visit out to Arizona during the school year at some point, and says that he loves what Sean Miller has going on out in Tucson.
“The coaching staff is fantastic out there,” Richardson said. “The recruitment has been great from them. They have a great team, and the recruiting class is only getting better and better.”
As for Villanova and Rutgers, Richardson says that his relationships with Jay Wright and Eddie Jordan are key in them making the cut over schools like North Carolina, Kansas and Georgetown.
“Jay Wright had a big impact on me,” Richardson said. “He’s a great coach, and I loved his system, and the Villanova pride. As for Rutgers, Eddie Jordan had a lot to do with it. He’s played in the NBA, and at Rutgers actually as well, and I feel like I would fit in well there.”
As for the visits, Richardson says that he doesn’t have any scheduled at the moment other than the Syracuse visit, but he plans on visiting two schools in particular soon.
“I definitely want to get out to see Arizona at some point this year,” Richardson said. “I also want to make a trip to UConn as well.”
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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.