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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Recruiting Roundup: Jalen Carey, Kahlil Whitney, Valdir Manuel
By ADAM ZAGORIAUNION, N.J. — The SFIC Basketball Festival at Kean University on Sunday featured many of New Jersey’s top recruits, and drew North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and assistant Hubert Davis, as well as assistants from Villanova, UConn, Oregon, Rutgers and Georgetown.
Here’s a brief breakdown on some of the top recruiting storylines from the event, along with a Podcast interview I did on the players with Wesley Cheng of SNY.
SYRACUSE IS GETTING A STUD IN JALEN CAREY
The Syracuse-bound guard went for 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting with 6 rebounds and 3 assists as Montclair Immaculate defeated Trenton Catholic, 70-68.
The 6-foot-3 Carey also scored 29 points on New Year’s Day when Immaculate defeated Ranney, 69-61, the team featuring 2019 stars Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine.
“We think he’s a McDonalds All-American, and we hope that he gets voted into the game,” Immaculate coach Jimmy Salmon told Montclair Local. “He’s been playing great.”
With Syracuse likely to lose Tyus Battle to the NBA after this season, Carey should provide some instant offense in a class that also includes shooting guard Buddy Boeheim and small forward Darius Bazley.
Carey may not be at Syracuse for long.
“They feel I can be a one-and-done type of guy,” Carey told Syracuse.com.
“They compare me to Tyler Ennis and Jonny Flynn,” he added. “Hopefully if we play well and win, and do my thing, I could be in the NBA in a year.”
GEORGETOWN, OREGON, UCONN WATCH KAHLIL WHITNEY
Current Georgetown assistant and former Seton Hall head man Louis Orr, Oregon assistant Tony Stubblefield and UConn assistant Dwayne Killings sat courtside to watch several players, including Class of 2019 Roselle Catholic wing Kahlil Whitney, who had 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting with 7 rebounds as Roselle Catholic held off St. Mary’s, 64-59 in OT.
“Oh yeah, I talked to him before the game,” Whitney said of Orr. “The Oregon coach was here, too.”
The No. 12-ranked small forward in the Class of 2019 per 247Sports.com, Whitney previously broke down several schools recruiting him, including Syracuse, St. John’s, Georgetown, UConn, Miami and Illinois.
As for Georgetown, he said, “I talk to them almost every day.”
Whitney has no plans to cut his list any time soon.
“I won’t be cutting my list until next year,” he said.
Wherever he goes, “I’ll be very versatile. I can do almost everything on the court.”
ST. PAT’S BIG MAN VALDIR MANUEL PLANNING VISITSHILLSIDE, N.J. — Valdir Manuel, the 6-9 forward from The Patrick School, didn’t sign with a school in the fall and plans to wait until the spring, when he could be one of the most attractive uncommitted big men in the nation.
“He’s going to be the best available big in the country,” Patrick School assistant Ayton Branch said. “He’s the most efficient offensive big man in New Jersey and top five in the country when he wants to play that way.”
Manuel listed Rutgers, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Illinois and Butler among the schools recruiting him now.
“I will take [visits] to Illinois, New Mexico and Rhode Island after my high school season,” he said. “I want to just focus on my season.”
Rhode Island offered him recently and also features former St. Pat’s big man Cyril Langevine.
“Cyril’s my guy, they got Cyril,” he said. “I want to go someplace that I can develop as a basketball player.”
As for Rutgers, where he took an unofficial visit about a month ago, he said, “The coaches say they like the way I play. They want me to go there and play. They like how I compete and they say I can be the next best big man on their team….Yeah, I like the message.”
Manuel will bring a diverse offensive game to college.
“I’m a big who can score on the block, can face up, can block shots and can play outside/inside,” he said.
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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.