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.
BENTON, Ky. – For Josh Jackson, the thought of not committing to home state school Michigan State is difficult.
“It would be real hard,” the projected No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Napa (CA) Prolific Prep said Friday night at the Marshall County Hoopfest.
Sparty, the 247Sports CrystalBall current leader, improved their chances to land the coveted wing with the addition of one of Jackson’s best friends, Miles Bridges.
“Having Miles definitely helped them out,” Jackson said after going for 34 points, 19 rebounds, eight assists and one block as Prolific Prep beat Huntington Prep, 83-77, Friday night. Bridgeshad 27 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in the loss.
“[He’s] one of my best friends on the circuit, one of my favorite guys to play with and against, so he really helped out.”
Bridges has ensured his friend Jackson knows he wants him in East Lansing.
“Miles contacts me at least two to three times a week,” Jackson said. “I’m strongly considering it. Obviously he’s a great player. They’ve got some other great recruits coming in as well. It’s my hometown so it would be a favorite.”
“They definitely tag team,” Jakson said of Bridges and Coach Tom Izzo’s recruiting efforts. “Cassius Winston as well, I grew up with him and he’s committed there, he calls me sometimes. Nick Ward, he’ll call me sometimes, Josh Langford. I’m friends with all of the 2016 recruits they have coming here. So it’s just Sparty, Sparty all the time.”
Michigan State’s recruiting class is currently ranked No. 3 behind Kentucky and Duke, according to Scout.com.
As far as a list, Jackson stated he’s considering Arizona, Kansas, Michigan State, UNLV and UCLA.
He has official visits set for Arizona (Dec. 19) and Kansas (Jan. 23). The latter visit was reported by 247Sports.com.
“I have set up an official visit for Arizona on December 19th,” Jackson reported. “They play against UNLV, it’s a home game.”
When asked about Arizona, Jackson had high praise for Coach Sean Miller, his coach with the USA U19 team that won gold this past summer.
“Coach Miller, he’s a great coach,” Jackson said. “Obviously, I’ve been able to play under him with USA basketball. He’s a great guy and great coach.”
“I love their style of play and they’re always good,” Jackson continued. “He’s a great recruiter, he knows how to recruit guys.”
Time spent on Team USA enhanced Jackson’s relationship with Coach Miller.
“Oh yeah, that definitely played a factor,” Jackson said. “I had a couple of heart-to-heart moments with Coach Miller so we’re kind of close.”
As for Kansas, head coach Bill Self was at the Marshall County Hoopfest and Jackson’s mother, Apples Jones, played college ball at Allen County Community in Iola, Kan.
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/big-12/university-of-kansas/article48774940.html#storylink=cpy
Although stressful at times, Jackson said he’s not ready to take the next step.
“Wish I could just make this decision tomorrow,” Jackson said. “But I’m still not sure where I want to go and I know this is one of the most important decisions I will make in my life. I want to make sure I don’t have any regrets about it so I’m going to take my time.”
Meantime, Jackson’s mother has some interesting thoughts on recruiting and how it should go in this story by Ben Roberts.
She reiterated that he’s not planning on going overseas.
“If he entertained (going overseas), I would definitely entertain it. Because that’s how much I think the NCAA is messed up,” she said.” … But my kid is going to college.”
**Kansas head coach Bill Self is expected to watch 7-footer Thon Maker of Athlete Institute (Ontario) at the Hoopfest, Maker’s guardian Ed Smith told SNY.tv. Maker’s team also plays Friday and Saturday. Maker is planning to take officials to Arizona State, Kansas and Notre Dame, with others potentially also in the mix.
**Coaches from Kentucky, Louisville and Maryland are expected to watch 2017 Advanced Prep International point guard Trevon Duval on Saturday, his father told SNY.tv. API meets Jackson and Prolific Prep at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The top point guard in the Class of 2017 — and maybe in all of high school basketball — Duval went for 15 points, 5 assists and 4 steals Thursday in API’s win over Sunrise Christian.
**Marvin Bagley, the 6-foot-11 2018 star from Arizona now being home-schooled, is on an unofficial visit to Duke, according to Scout.com’s Josh Gershon.
As I wrote this summer, Bagley holds offers from Duke and Kentucky, among many others.
He visited Duke last summer before Peach Jam.
“When they offered me I was shocked, shocked at first,” he said then. “But it just me want to keep getting in the gym. It puts a bigger target on my back. Everybody wants to come after me now, so I gotta keep staying in the gym, trust in God and everything will come naturally to me.”
As for his upside, he looks like a future pro.
“Bagley has unbelievable instincts, length and fast-twitch muscles,” one D-1 assistant coach told SNY.tv. “Surefire pro prospect in a few years.”
“He has an unbelievable motor and a tremendous skill level,” another coach said. “He has the whole package.”
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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.