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.
Naz Reid Goes Off for 36 and 18 in Front of a Slew of College Coaches
ROSELLE, N.J. — Naz Reid and his Roselle Catholic teammates found themselves down by 14 points at the half to a Jalen Carey-led Montclair Immaculate team on Sunday at the Primetime Shootout.
It wouldn’t have been a good look for the Lions to lose on their home court to a young upstart team that wants what Roselle Catholic has: two New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles in the last four years.
And that’s when the 6-foot-10 Reid took over.
Dominating against Immaculate’s smaller front line in the paint, Reid scored 25 of his game-high 36 points in the second half and added 18 rebounds and three blocks as the Lions prevailed, 86-74.
Temple-bound guard Nate Pierre-Louis added 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the win.
Carey, the junior point guard from Montclair Immaculate, finished with 37 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Reid’s performance came in front of a slew of college coaches, including Kentucky’s John Calipari and Tony Barbee; Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard, Shaheen Holloway and Grant Billmeier; Rutgers’ Steve Pikiell; UConn’s Dwayne Killings; St. John’s Matt Abdelmassih; Georgetown’s Anthony Solomon; and Tulane’s Doug Stewart.
“In those types of environments, you want your guys to perform when the college coaches are here, so I’m happy for him,” RC coach Dave Boff said. “But we all know that he’s a super highly-recruited kid, Top 10 kid in the country, so I’m sure for him it was probably more important to get the win that we needed today.”
Asked if he noticed the coaches, Reid said, “No, I just try to play the game with my teammates, I just want to win.”
The criticism of Reid has often been that he settles for playing on the perimeter, but in the second half of this game he went to work in the paint. And simply dominated.
“That’s what we’ve been hoping to see,” Boff said. “I think it started [Saturday] night in the Montverde game, to be honest….This year, I think Nazi had a little bit of an awakening in terms of what he’s capable of doing. He didn’t put up huge numbers against Montverde, but he scored basically every time he got the ball in the paint. And I think it reminded him of what he’s capable of doing.
“The kids today did a great job of getting him the basketball and he did an unbelievable job of scoring it there.
Reid broke down several of his top schools after the game:
Kentucky: “I love their style of play, they all work as a team. Everybody touches the ball, everybody gets the ball and they all win.”
Asked if he’d like to add a Kentucky offer, he said, “Yes, definitely. That would be a big feeling to my life, must being able to know that I had a Kentucky offer, it would add more motivation to my system. [They said] just keep playing, rebounding, get my teammates the ball.”
St. John’s: “It’s a big relationship. They’re contacting me every once in a while. They let me know how their season is going and want me to come up and things like that.”
Rutgers: “Same thing, everybody’s contacting me, telling me how their season is going and giving me a look on how things could be if I went to that school.”
Syracuse: “They’re telling me to bring up the ball a little bit, play inside, a little bit of both. Same thing with all the schools, they’re all telling me the same thing.”
As for what factors will contribute to his decision, he said, “Winning is a big factor in my life. I’ve been winning since the seventh grade with Sports U. I’m a sore loser, I do not like losing, honestly. You win some, you lose some.”
Meantime, Roselle Catholic is focused on the upcoming Union County Tournament and then the Non-Public South B state bracket, where they could face The Patrick School in the final.
“We started clicking a little late, but this is the part of the season that really matters,” he said, “counties, states, we gotta win the TOC.”
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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.