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.
Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis, the Class of 2019 stars from the Ranney (N.J.) School and the Team Rio AAU program, visited St. John’s Wednesday alongside many of their Rio teammates.
One 2020 NBA Mock Draft has Lewis as the No. 4 pick and Antoine as the No. 10 pick. They are ranked Nos. 12 and 13, respectively, on the 2019 ESPN 60.
The Rio group included Jalen Gaffney, Alex Klatsky, Josh Alexander, Ahmadu Samor, Jake Glezen, Noah Farrakhan, Clarence Nadolny, Dwight Davis, Trey Patterson and Cartier Bowman.
“Any opportunity for our guys to sit in a room with Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond and talk basketball is a great opportunity,” Team Rio director Brian Klatsky told ZAGSBLOG.
“As the kids move further along in the process, they are getting more intuitive about the direction of the program and how they would fit in. The extensive film work and breakdown of their offensive philosophy does excite the kids a lot. Not just Ccottie and Bryan, but also several other Rio prospects are being evaluated and recruited by the staff. There is a lot of mutual interest from both sides in the process.”
“St. John’s is family,” Lewis told ZAGSBLOG last week at the NBPA Top 100 Camp. “All those guys, Chris Mullin, they treat me really well. They’re in constant contact all the time. I’m definitely expecting a call from Chris Mullin [at midnight]. If I don’t [hear from him] I’ll curse him out when I see him.”
Antoine and Lewis also told ZAGSBLOG they are considering going to the same college and mentioned several schools recruiting both players, including Florida, Maryland and St. John’s. Kentucky coach John Calipari also called both players last week when coaches could begin calling 2019s.
“That’s definitely something me and Bryan talk about every day,” Lewis said. “We go to the same school. We’re on the same team. And we’re in the gym every single day together. Every time after we workout I ask him and he asks me [about pairing up at the next level], about schools that we’d go to together at and schools that we wouldn’t.”
Lewis said it was one of the top factors in both of their recruitments.
“I would say as far as college goes it’s one of the top things we’re looking for [on if it’s a priority for him and Lewis to play together],” he said. “I think as far as from a business standpoint and publicity and things like that I think we’re looking forward to making that decision.”
Beginning Friday, Luther Muhammad, the 6-4 Class of 2018 shooting guard from the NY Rens and Hudson (N.J.) Catholic will begin his official to St. John’s.
Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Xavier and Seton Hall are among the other schools involved for Muhammad, who cancelled a planned official to Butler after the coaching change.
Muhammad, a natural shooting guard, is transitioning to become a point guard with the Rens.
“It’s coming along really well as far as knowing when to score, pass, slow the game down, speed the game up, knowing how to run a team, getting everyone in the right spot and putting everyone in a position to play to their strengths,” he said. “I want to make everyone around me better.”
Said Rens coach Chris Alesi: “Luther is the prototpyical combo guard who, over the past month or so, has made a smooth transition to playing as a pure point guard, which is what he projects to be in college.
“He’s a kid who relentlessly works on improving his game and I would say he’s a little underrated nationally. He’s an elite competitor in the mold of former Pitt standout Levance Fields.”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.