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.
Hoophall Roundup: Thompson to Commit Late, Diallo Wide Open, Azubuike Not Announcing Sunday
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Brewster (N.H.) Academy power forward Taurean Thompson says he doesn’t plan to commit to a college until late in the spring, after players make decisions about the NBA Draft.
“I’m probably going to wait to see who goes to the draft and that’s when I’ll probably decide, all the way deep spring,” the 6-foot-10 Thompson said after going for 23 points and 16 rebounds as Brewster beat Vermont Academy, 94-87, at the Hoophall Classic despite 37 points from Miami-bound guard Bruce Brown.
Thompson said this fall at the National Prep Showcase that Seton Hall and Syracuse were working the hardest for his services. Since then, Providence, Pittsburgh, N.C. State and Georgetown have stepped up their focus.
“The same schools, Syracuse, Seton Hall, Providence through email,” he said. “I took an unofficial [to Providence], I saw the game against St. John’s. And I spent the day with Coach [Ed] Cooley. I enjoyed it. It was cool. He came down to school and saw one of my practices, so we’re talking.”
Providence assistant Andre LaFleur was on hand for the game.
As for Seton Hall, associate head coach Shaheen Holloway and assistant Grant Billmeier were in the building Sunday, and Thompson’s mother Sherese recently attended a Seton Hall game without her son.
“Yeah, since I’m up at school she still goes to the games,” the New York native said.
He also watched Seton Hall’s win at Providence on TV.
“Yeah, that was a good game, I saw it,” he said.
Syracuse is also still working hard.
“Everything is still the same with Syracuse, I still got a scholarship,” he said.
N.C. State has also offered and they stay in touch with his mother.
Thompson said he cut Rutgers off his list and St. John’s is not recruiting him.
“I’m probably going to take some visits in the spring, I got three more officials,” he said. “So I’m probably going to use that for the long-distance schools”
ALPHA DIALLO REMAINS OPENAlpha Diallo, Thompson’s Brewster teammate, also remains open in his recruitment.
“A couple schools called to say that they were here, South Carolina, Seton Hall, Providence,” the 6-6 Diallo said after going for 21 points and 5 rebounds in the win over Vermont Academy.
He also listed Miami, Florida, VCU, a school he visited.
“It went pretty well, love the coaches, love the place,” he said. “Looking to take more visits so I can have a little comparison and what I like more.”
He added: “I haven’t planned any visits yet.”
Diallo is looking for “early playing time” and a “a place where I feel comfortable.”
AZUBUIKE WON’T ANNOUNCE SUNDAYUdoka Azubuike won’t announce on Sunday as originally planned, as first reported by ESPN’s Reggie Rankin.
The 6-foot-11 Potters House Christian (FL) big man is considering Florida State, North Carolina and Kansas and broke down all three schools for SNY.tv.
ESPN didn’t have a TV window for him to announce.
Azubuike did not speak with reporters Sunday.
BRIAN BOWEN TALKS RECRUITINGBrian Bowen, a 6-7 junior wing went for 29 points and 4 rebounds as La Lumiere beat St. Patrick’s, 62-58 in OT.
“I think he’s got one of the highest ceilings of anybody in the country,” La Lumiere coach Shane Heirman told SNY.tv. “Anytime you’re 6-7, 6-8 and can shoot it, pass it and he just keeps getting better. He’s one of those guys you can literally see getting better.”
On recruiting, Bowen said he’s open and listed several schools as working hard, including UCLA, USC, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State and N.C. State. Kentucky hasn’t offered, but Bowen said they have “strong interest.”
“Everybody’s pretty even right now, there’s not one school that’s recruiting me harder than everybody else,” he said.
Bowen is first cousins with former Michigan State and NBA star Jason Richardson, so the Spartans have a strong tie to Bowen.
“His dad helped Jason Richardson a lot and that’s his first cousin so they’ve been through the process a lot,” Heirman said. “They’ve got it pretty well organized.”
He added: “Michigan State has been around a while so they’ve been tremendously active.”
In fact, Spartans coach Tom Izzo has watched Bowen play “a lot,” he said.
“We have a really strong relationship, me and Coach Izzo go back for a while,” Bowen said. “But I mean, I’m still an open recruiting guy. I tell everybody in the country, that I’m open to everybody.”
For St. Pat’s, it was their second loss in as many days by 4 points. They fell to St. Anthony’s, 60-56, on Saturday in the Dan Finn Classic.
BIG-TIME COACHES IN ATTENDANCE
Among the head coaches on hand Sunday are Kentucky’s John Calipari, North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Texas’ Shaka Smart and GW’s MIke Lonergan.Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
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.