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.
R.J. Barrett, the 6-foot-7 wing from Montverde (FL) Academy, will announce his college decision on Nov. 10.
Barrett, who is down to Duke, Kentucky and Oregon, hosted Oregon head coach Dana Altman at Montverde on Wednesday. Duke head man Mike Krzyzewski and associate head coach Jeff Capel were in last week, and Kentucky’s John Calipari has also been through to see Barrett, who is currently projected as the No. 1 NBA Draft pick in 2019 by ESPN.com.
“Right now I’m down to three schools: Duke, Oregon and Kentucky,” he wrote in his USA Today blog.
“I love the three schools on my list, and I have great relationships with the coaches and had a great time on each visit.
“I’ll be deciding on November 10.
“I’m gonna do it at home in Canada with all of my family and friends….
“I don’t know where I’m going yet. I just set the date because I want to get it over with before the season starts and that should be enough time to come up with the right decision.”
The NCAA early signing period runs Nov. 8-15.
Barrett’s AAU teammate with UPlay Canada and Montverde teammate Andrew Nembhard committed to Florida this week and is expected to sign then.
Duke is widely perceived as the frontrunner for Barrett.
“I know a few years ago when he first got here, he was bringing them up as one of his favorite teams and I think that’s gotta be some sort of advantage maybe, but a lot of it too for him, especially being a wing and being a freshman demanding a lot of touches and a of field goal attempts, I think a lot of it now is is being shaped by who’s landing at these other schools,” Kevin Boyle Jr., who coaches with his father, Kevin Boyle, said on The Four Quarters Podcast.
“I think a lot of it is a determination of who else is going to be on the team.”
Still, Boyle Jr. said any option would be good for Barrett.
“Right now between those three I think they all kind of could suit him for what his goal is, and that’s what everyone predicts is a one-and-done candidate,” Boyle Jr. said. “All three of these schools are going to win, are going to be on TV a lot, are going to need him to be a big part of things so I think he can’t really go wrong with any of them right now.
“I wouldn’t be surprised at anything at this point, which place he decides to go.”
Wherever Barrett goes for college, he’s not expected to stay long, as he’s been projected as the No. 1 pick in 2019.
“He’s right in that class [with the other top picks I have coached],” Kevin Boyle Sr. said of Barrett on The 4 Quarters Podcast. “Most of the guys [who become superstars] are all those wing guys that end up better in these drafts over the years. That’s why I’m saying he should be the number one pick in two years.”
Should he pick Duke, it’s possible the Blue Devils could have back-to-back No. 1 picks in 2018 (Marvin Bagley III) and ’19 (Barrett).
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.