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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Fresh off USA Basketball minicamp, Zion Williamson, Bol Bol, Darius Garland poised to visit Kentucky
Fresh off participating in the USA Basketball minicamp last weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo., elite Class of 2018 recruits Zion Williamson, Bol Bol and Darius Garland will visit Kentucky this weekend for “Big Blue Madness.”
The 6-foot-5 Williamson is also considering Duke, Kansas, UCLA, Clemson and South Carolina. He’s projected as the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft per ESPN.com. The 7-foot-3 Bol, the son of the late Manute Bol, is down to Kentucky and Oregon.
USA Youth Basketball coach Don Showalter coached both players this past weekend and provided updated scouting reports on both players.
“First of all, he’s a great kid, a great person, wants to get better, very coachable, so that’s going to really help his development,” Showalter said on The 4 Quarters Podcast.
“He’s a little under-sized for what he can do. He’s about 6-4, 6-5 maybe. I kind of compare him to back in the day Charles Barkley. He’s really good around the rim. He looks like a linebacker, defensive end but he moves really fluid. He finishes really well around the rim. Even when he doesn’t dunk it, he finishes very well around the rim.
“I think the big thing for him is how can he adapt his game to more of a perimeter game when he gets to the next level because he’s probably a little under-sized in some cases but he uses his body so well he’ll be a great player I think at the next level.”
Meantime, Bol cut Arizona and USC from his list in the wake of the college bribery scandal, and has already visited Oregon.
“From our standpoint, Bol Bol really got better as the weekend went on,” Showalter said. “I think the knock against him coming in was he doens’t play hard all the time and we just didn’t let him do that. He really played with a lot of energy, got up and down the court extremely well. And so if he plays at that level, he is a fantastic player. He obviously alters every shot that comes within eight feet of the basket. He’s got a nice shot from the perimeter, but he’s also has a good inside game. He finishes left and right, so we were impressed with him. He got better as the weekend went along and he played at a very high level, which is something we had a question about coming in.”
Kentucky will also host point guard Darius Garland, who was one of several guards at the USA Basketball minicamp.
The Wildcats already have Immanuel Quickley in the fold but Garland feels they would complement each other.
“I think it would work pretty good, we complement each other really well,” he told Rivals. “We played in Italy together and he can really shoot the ball. He’s a really good shooter, really active, really long. He’s a really good player.”
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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.