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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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Tuesday / September 26.
  • St. John’s working hardest for 2018 forward Jordan Brown

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    Even though he goes to high school on the West Coast, Jordan Brown appears to be leaning towards a school on the East Coast.

    The 6-foot-10 power forward from Roseville (CA) Woodcreek High who is ranked No. 4 nationally at his position has St. John’s right at the top of his list and plans to visit later this summer or fall.

    “St. John’s is probably working the hardest overall,” Dion Brown, the player’s father and a 1984 draft pick of the San Antonio Spurs, said Sunday by phone from the Adidas Nations event in Houston. “But we got Oregon, Cal-Berkeley, UCLA. We got a couple of mid-majors like Gonzaga.”

    Under head coach Chris Mullin, St. John’s has made Brown a priority in the Class of 2018, along with Archbishop Molloy big man Moses Brown and Hudson Catholic (N.J.) shooting Luther Muhammad. Assistant Greg St. Jean has been the point man for Jordan Brown.

    A visit to St. John’s is coming for Jordan Brown, who tried out for the 2017 USA Men’s U19 National Team that went to Egypt.

    “We don’t have anything set up but we do plan on going out to St. John’s,” Dion said. “We just haven’t set up anything.”

    Even though the 247 Crystal Ball has Cal at 80 percent and UCLA at 20 percent, Dion Brown said he favors the St. John’s message at this point. He also noticed that the coaches have seen Jordan everywhere from his NorCal state championship game to AAU games in Las Vegas last month.

    “The one thing I do know is, St. John’s is right up there,” Dion said.

    “I talk to Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond came down here and St. Jean is kind of like the focal point,” Dion added. “And one the things that they emphasized with us, they run an NBA-style offense where they have flexible big man, and Jordan is a flexible big man. He can play on the outside or he can play on the inside. And I talked to Chris Mullin at one point, you can play against a team where the St. John’s guards can post up the other team’s guards so if you have flexible big men who can do things, you can post those guards and take advantage of those guards.

    “And he can post when it comes time to exploit the other team’s big men.”

    Even though St. John’s is 3,000 miles away, the appeal of playing in the Big East and in Madison Square Garden is also strong.

    “Hey, like they say, if you can succeed in New York, you can succeed anywhere,” Dion said. “That’s exciting. That’s on our mind as well. It’s on the other side of the country, that’s 3,000 miles away. But you know when you got Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond texting you and paying that kind of attention, coming down to watch your games. The one thing that I like is they’ve seen him play great, they’ve seen him play OK, they’ve seen him play not so well. Chris Mullin can see things in a kid where he knows where they’re going to be at.”

    Still, Cal and UCLA are also among those in the mix.

    “They’re here, they’re on the West Coast,” Dion said. “I gotta pay a little more attention to what’s going on with Cal and the new coach. They’re still in there. Everything started with Cuonzo [Martin] when he was there, now of course he’s gone. Now I want to see what they got going.

    “UCLA, same thing. I think they started watching him in eighth grade.”

    For now, though, it appears St. John’s has caught Dion’s eye.

    Photo: USA Basketball

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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.