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.
2016 Forward Veer Singh Adds Temple, USF Offers; Coaches Flock to St. Peter’s Prep
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — By 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, a group of coaches was already in the stands at St. Peter’s Prep to watch and recruit their group of talented young players.
Seton Hall was two-deep with head coach Kevin Willard and assistant Fred Hill. Temple head coach Fran Dunphy was on hand. And assistants from Cincinnati, Virginia, St. Peter’s College and Princeton were in the mix.
Assistants from Syracuse, South Florida, Oregon State, Creighton and Pace were in on Monday.
This figures to be the norm at the Jersey City school over the next couple of years since they are loaded with a 2016 class that includes Veer Singh, Kaleb Bishop and Najja Hunter and 2017 point guard Nate Pierre-Louis, who received his first scholarship offer from Seton Hall in the summer before seventh grade.
The 6-foot-6, 185-pound Singh — who I profiled last fall in this story — is out approximately four weeks with a bruised right hand and will likely miss this weekend’s Nike EYBL stop in Sacramento when his New York Lightning team goes.
“It’s looking like that but I’m going to see if there’s anything we can do before that,” Singh told SNY.tv.
Still, Singh picked up offers this week from Temple and South Florida.
Asked who was recruiting him the hardest at this point, Singh listed Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Villanova, Virginia, South Florida and Oregon State, among others.
“I really like Virginia,” he said.
He said he hopes to visit Virginia, Cincinnati and Oregon State.
“Anywhere we got a tournament and there’s a school in the proximity, definitely take a drive out there,” Singh said.
After losing to Kentucky-bound Karl-Anthony Towns and eventual Tournament of Champions winner St. Joe’s-Metuchen in the Non-Public A state final, Singh said the goal next season is to win that title and compete for the TOC crown.
St. Peter’s Prep, along with Roselle Catholic and The Patrick School, figures to be among the favorites to win it all next season.
“[Our goal] is what every team’s goal is, you know what I mean, win a Tournament of Champions,” Singh said. “I kind of feel like we have the pieces.”
Even though Towns, Quadri Moore (Linden) and Ismael Sanogo (Newark East Side) will all be off to college next year, Singh doesn’t necessarily think that’s a good thing.
“You always want to play the best competition,” he said. “Karl was Class of 2015 before he de-classed. …You want to play the best possible competition.”
**The 6-2, 170-pound Pierre-Louis said he likes Syracuse, UConn, Virginia, Louisville, Miami and Kansas, although not all those schools have been in to see him. He holds offers from Rutgers, Seton Hall and Florida State.
“I think I’m just too young, they don’t want to offer me,” he said. “I’m only 15.”
Pierre-Louis said he likes to model his game after Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Steph Curry, and said he projects to grow several more inches.
“I’m supposed to be anywhere from 6-4 to 6-7,” he said. “I’m growing right now. I feel it.”
Like Singh, Pierre-Louis wants to challenge for a TOC title.
“We have a lot of goals,” he said. “No. 1 we gotta win the Hudson County, we gotta redeem ourselves from last year [against Hudson Catholic]. We gotta win [North] Parochial A for the third straight time and then we have to win [state] Parochial A. We gotta go step-by-step.
“We have this sense of urgency because we know that we’re talented and a lot of people think we’re cocky and arrogant because we’re young and good. We just gotta go out this year and show out. That’s the main priority.
**The 6-7, 189-pound Bishop is a combo forward and the cousin of former Cincinnati forward Rashad Bishop, who played at Paterson Kennedy and St. Benedict’s Prep.
Oregon State, Fordham, Wagner and High Point have offered, while Seton Hall, Rutgers and Cincinnati have shown interest.
“I would like to take visit to maybe Seton Hall or Rutgers and maybe even Cincinnati,” he said.
With a stream of coaches coming into the gym during recruiting, Bishop sees this time as a chance to improve his stock.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for me to come out here and just ball and show what I got,” he said.
As for next season, he too, has lofty goals.
“I think it’s our time,” Bishop said. “That opened up a lot of doors for us [with guys graduating from other schools] and we just gotta take it all.”
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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.