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.
With R.J. Barrett announcement set for Nov. 10, Duke saw him at 4:45 am this week
R.J. Barrett isset to announce his college choice at 6 p.m. on Nov. 10 at Lionhead Golf & Conference Centre in Brampton, Ontario. The announcement will be carried live during the 6 p.m. ET edition of Canada’s SportsCentre on TSN.
With the announcement fast approaching, college coaches are making their final pitches to him.
Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel made an early morning visit on Wednesday to see the 6-foot-7 wing from Montverde (FL) Academy, as ZAGSBLOG reported that day.
“Capel was there at 4:45 in the morning, we practiced at 4:45,” Montverde coach Kevin Boyle told ZAGSBLOG. “Duke was in the gym. Coach K came two weeks before and met with him. They’ve been several times. Duke’s worked very, very hard.”
Barrett, who is down to Duke, Kentucky and Oregon, also hosted Oregon head coach Dana Altman recently 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.
“Both schools have been here recently several times,” Boyle said.
In his recent USA Today blog, Barrett wrote:.”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 will become the third Montverde senior to commit, following guard Andrew Nembhard (Florida) and forward Filip Petrusev (Gonzaga).
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],” Boylesaid 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).
Barrett and his Montverde teammates are also headed to China from Dec. 2-21 where they will play other American teams in Providence Day School (N.C.) and Chaminade (CA) College Prepatory Academy as well as Chinese teams. They will play in a round robin format Dec. 6-9 at the Olympic Training Center. A specific game schedule has yet to be released.
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.