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 Roundup: Duke Visiting Bolden, Brown Watching UConn, Shibel to ASU
Duke went three deep on Tueday for uncommitted McDonald’s All-American big man Marques Bolden of DeSoto (TX).
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski, associate head coach Jeff Capel and assistant Nate James sat courtside as Bolden went for 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in a 35-point victory, according to reports.
Andrew Slater of 247Sports.com first reported Duke’s visit.
Bolden didn’t commit before the early signing period and will wait until the spring to ink a National Letter of Intent. His father said he had no timetable on a decision.
“Not at this time,” Melvin Bolden told SNY.tv on Tuesday.
Bolden is considering Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Alabama, among others. He has taken officials to Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Oklahoma.
“I am still unsure and have a lot of doubts in my head,” the 6-foot-10 Bolden out of DeSoto (TX) High told Rivals.com in the fall. “Knowing I still had those doubts I didn’t want to sign until I’m sure.
“I could really watch teams play more and see where I fit in. Also I could continue to talk to each staff and see what kind of relationship I can develop with them.”
Kentucky has a loaded recruiting class full of bigs coming in, including Bam Adebayo, Sacha-Killeya Jones and Wenyen Gabriel. They also have Tai Wynyard and Isaac Humphries returning.
“I’m not really trying to get it over with, but I have it down in my head to the schools that I’m really thinking about so I’m not really going through the eliminating process because I pretty much did that,” Bolden told Rivals.
“I really don’t try to put pressure on myself (to decide) or have somebody put that stress on me. I’m really trying to take it slow and day-by-day and not trying to think of me being a class changer.”
Speaking of Duke, assistant coach Nates James will watch Kalif Young, a 6-9, 240-pound Class of 2016 big man from Orangeville Prep, on Wednesday night, coach Larry Blunt told SNY.tv. Indiana assistant Chuck Martin will also see Young, who holds offers from Providence and Pittsburgh, among others.
BROWN WATCHES UCONN, CLOSE TO DECISIONZach Brown, a 7-foot-1 2017 center from Miami (FL) Senior High, sat behind the UConn bench for the Huskies 60-42 win over Tulane Tuesday night in Hartford.
And he appears close to making a decision.
“It’s coming,” he told Dave Borges of the New Haven Register at the game.
Brown called the Huskies “a brotherhood, and they’re also on a mission that you’re good at academics, not just basketball.”
Brown told Borges he’s also considering Miami, NC State and Georgia.
“Connecticut is one of the strong considerations,” Michael Lipman, Brown’s legal guardian, told SNY.tv in the fall.
“I think you have a head coach, Kevin Ollie, that is a flat-out great coach. He has developed Andre Drummond. We have to find a system that is a good fit academically and a good fit for a big man, and that is going to showcase his offensive skills. And you need a team that’s going to compete while he’s there for the national championship.”
Lipman also mentioned that Brown already has a bond with 2016 UConn commit Alterique Gilbert, a point guard.
“He played with Alterique Gilbert in the [Nike] Global Games and they won the whole thing,” Lipman said. “The two of them were tremendous. You need a strong one, you need a system that’s going to build around the big man. Kevin Ollie and his staff are just tremendous.”
Lipman also listed Miami, Kentucky, N.C. State, South Carolina and Florida among the school recruiting Brown.
ASU LANDS BIG MAN
Arizona State on Tuesday landed a verbal pledge from Vitaliy Schibel, a 6-9 Class of 2016 power forward from Lee Academy, a source told SNY.tv.
Playing for Ukraine in the U18 European Championships this summer, he averaged 10.3 points and 5.8 rebounds in eight games.
He joins center Jethro Tshisumpa and guard Sam Cunliffe in coach Bobby Hurley’s 2016 class.
Hurley and his staff remain strongly in the mix for 7-footer Thon Maker, who may not decide for some time and is also considering Indiana, St. John’s, Kansas, Notre Dame and UNLV.
FREE THROWSSeton Hall is expected to host numerous recruits for Wednesday’s tilt with Villanova, including Jahvon Quinerly, Luther Muhammad, Louis King, Atiba Taylor, Andre Rafus, Nate Pierre-Louis and Donatus Kupsus...St. John’s is the latest to offer Aundre Hyatt of Archbishop Stepinac, a 6-6, 205-pound sophomore who picked up an Iona offer over the weekend. Rutgers assistant Greg “Shoes” Vetrone also watched Hyatt on Tuesday…Wake Forest offered 6-3 Class of 2018 point guard Jaelin Llewellyn of Athlete Institute, coach Larry Blunt said…Montverde freshman guard R.J. Barrett of Canada has been invited to the Jordan Classic International Game, sources said…Montverde sophomore big man Simi Shittu said he has interest from Kentucky, Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and others. The 6-8 Shittu was named to the Hoophall All-Tournament Team….Seton Hall and Virginia Tech offered 2017 Vermont Academy (VT) forward ChristianDavid.
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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.