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.
Recruiting Notebook: Horace Spencer, Ernest Aflakpui, Markis McDuffie, DuPree McBrayer
PHILADELPHIA — Two of the more intriguing big men at Reebok Classic Breakout — Horace Spencer and Ernest Aflakpui — are on the same team here and drawing looks from a number of college coaches.
The 6-foot-9 Spencer is a Philadelphia native now playing at Findlay Prep.
Spencer told Josh Verlin of CityofBasketballLove.com that his experience at Findlay playing against Kelly Oubre, a 6-7 Kansas freshman from Findlay, and Craig Victor, a 6-7 Arizona freshman from Findlay, has helped him improve his game.
“I like a challenge, but when I first played against Kelly Oubre, Rashad Vaughn [UNLV] and Craig Victor, I knew I had to get my game up a whole lot,” he told the site. “Because I’m really behind these guys, even though I’m a year younger than the rest of them.”
Spencer lists offers from Seton Hall, Temple, UNLV, Auburn, Kansas State and West Virginia and said Louisville and Purdue are interested.
“I already visited Seton Hall and Temple,” he told SNY.tv.
“[Seton Hall] is nice, nice small campus. The people love the basketball players and everybody’s really friendly. It’s a pretty nice campus size and everything.”
Temple is local for Spencer.
“It’s close to home, it’s in Philadelphia,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t necessarily stay home for college.
“Whoever is the best school that fits for me, I’m gonna go there so it doesn’t really matter if it’s home or far away, it doesn’t really matter to me.”
Spencer said he will take all five officials in the fall and “take my time as it goes.”
The 6-10 Aflakpui is a rebounder/defender who is still polishing his offensive game.
He has offers from Temple, George Washington, St. Joe’s, South Carolina, Rhode Island, La Salle, Kansas State and San Diego State.
He recently visited Providence and Rhode Island.
“[Providence] is just a different setting,” he said. [Coach Ed Cooley] seems to be a great dude.”
“[Coach Dan Hurley] is hilarious, he’s a great guy,” he added.
He plans to take more visits in July and August.
Markis McDuffie is a 6-8, 186-pound face-up forward from St. Anthony and Sports U who is playing here alongside Tyus Battle and Derryck Thornton.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “I never thought I would with them. I played against Tyus a couple times, I never played against Derryck.”
McDuffie recently visited VCU and picked up an offer.
“It was great, I loved it,” he said. “I loved coach [Shaka] Smart I loved the staff. They all loved me, they want me to come there. I loved the campus. I could fit in there I think.”
He also holds offers from Creighton, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Duquesne, Boston College, Penn State, Fordham, BUffalo and Quinnipiac.
“I’m not cutting the list anytime soon,” he said.
Most coaches like McDuffie but agree he needs to bulk up.
“I’ve added like six pounds. I’m slowly getting better, but I still have to work on it. But I’ll be ready.”
DuPree McBrayer is a 6-4 2015 point guard from The Patrick School.
Coaches from Seton Hall, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Rhode Island and Manhattan are here recruiting him, and McBrayer recently visited Seton Hall and Minnesota.
“Everybody’s working hard, so it’s going to be hard [to decide],” he said.
But first he will spend a prep year.
“I want to find a prep school soon, I still don’t know yet,” he said.
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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 and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.