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.
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2019 stars Bryan Antoine, Scottie Lewis talked recently about possible college package
PHILADELPHIA — Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine were on opposite teams on Wednesday night at Philadelphia University.
On this night, the 6-foot-5 Lewis got the better of his Ranney School and Team Rio teammate by burying a game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds for a 61-58 victory at the Under Armour All-America Camp. They estimated the last time they played against one another in a competitive game was in seventh grade.
“It’s always fun to play against Bryan,” Lewis said with his trademark smile. “He’s one of those guys that is true competition because we know each other’s games so well.”
The shot came in front of a Who’s Who of head and assistant coaches, including Kentucky’s John Calipari and Tony Barbee, Kansas’ Bill Self and Norm Roberts, UNC’s Roy Williams and Brad Frederick, Duke’s Jeff Capel and Jon Scheyer, UCLA’s Steve Alford and David Grace, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Villanova’s Jay Wright, Louisville’s Kenny Johnson, St. John’s Matt Abdelmassih and many more.
“Yeah, I was looking over a little bit,” Lewis said. “Just trying to keep my composure and play the way I usually play.”
Although the highly touted duo was on different teams on this night, they recently had a long and deep discussion about possibly playing together at the college level.
“Very serious conversation,” the 6-foot-5 Antoine said. “Honestly, it was like 11 o’clock at night, we were at a friend’s house. And it was me, Scottie and a friend, and we were in the room for a good two hours just talking about the options, like the benefits of going to the same school, what would happen if me and him went to the same school. It was a very in-depth serious conversation.”
Are they more likely to join forces now?
“I mean, yeah, he was spitting out some good facts,” Antoine said. “After that one night, [Lewis] is” pushing it more.
Said Lewis: “We put something on Twitter and it was a pretty good reaction from the coaches from those schools and the media from those schools.”
Asked if a package with Antoine was realistic, Lewis said, “Yes, 100 percent.”
The two Class of 2019 stars have some schools in common — Florida, Kentucky and St. John’s, among them — but there are schools recruiting each separately, too.
Antoine, who was born in Nyack, N.Y., before his family moved to New Jersey, picked up an offer from Duke on Friday, with coach Mike Krzyzewski calling him.
“Yes,” said Team Rio director Brian Klatsky.
“Coach Jon Scheyer’s been texting me constantly,” Antoine said this week. “He’s been talking about Coach K coming out to Vegas to see me in person.”
Antoine said he’s heard a lot recently from Arizona, Villanova and Louisville, for example.
“[Arizona assistant Book Richardson] called me three days ago to introduce himself to me and stuff like that,” Antoine said.
He’s also been to Villanova several times and said they like that he’s “kind of a leader and a scorer and they appreciate that.”
He added that “Louisville’s been calling a lot.”
Lewis said he is hoping to get offers “definitely from Duke, Kentucky, UCLA.
On Duke, Lewis said, “Me and Coach Scheyer had a long talk the other day about Duke and things like that. “They’re definitely up on the list of schools I would like to play for. Coach K and the history of that school in general. I’m one of the top guys in my class and to have them interested is just an honor.”
Meantime, Florida, Kentucky and St. John’s are involved for both guys.
“Florida’s Florida,” Antoine said. “They always have two, three coaches on me 24/7.”
Said Lewis: “We went to a team camp down there and I kind of built a relationship with Coach [Mike] White and Coach Dusty [May] and all those guys and ever since I’ve been to that team camp I just felt that was a good place, definitely the weather, Gators sports and Gators basketball is kind of all they have in Gainesville. And that’s the kind of atmosphere I’d love to be a part of.”
Kentucky’s Calipari has seen both guys play several times, including a trip to New Jersey last winter to see them at Roselle Catholic.
Both guys also visited Ketnucky (and Louisville) around the Kentucky Derby.
“It was just cool to be on campus [at Kentucky], it was a cool thing to be a part of,” Lewis said.
Kentucky has had great success in New Jersey, from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to Dakari Johnson to Karl-Anthony Towns to Isaiah Briscoe.
Lewis is originally from The Bronx (Antoine from Nyack) so St. John’s is an option, too.
“Yeah, I grew up in The Bronx and most of my family’s from Gun Hill,” Lewis said. “St. John’s was my first offer and I’ve had a connection with those guys longer than any other program in college right now that’s recruiting me so those guys will always have a spot and they’ll definitely be within my top when I cut my list.”
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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.