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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 / October 23.
  • Josiah James to Tennessee

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Josiah James, the 6-foot-5 combo guard from Charleston (S.C.) Porter-Gaud School, committed to Rick Barnes and Tennessee on Wednesday.

    James chose the Vols over Clemson and Duke.

    “Yes, I’m committing to the University of Tennessee,” he wrote in MoultrieNews.com.

    James said he’s remaining loyal to the coach who offered him a scholarship when he was 13.

    “Loyalty is something that goes deep with me. Relationships are everything,” he wrote. “When we got to Tennessee for my official visit, the whole coaching staff and all the players were waiting to meet me and my family. We played pickup with some of the team one morning while the coaches were still at breakfast. Lamonte Turner was guarding me and I remember I got by him one time but I got fouled on the layup. He pulled me aside and showed me a little trick to get more space at the rim. He didn’t have to do that. Little things like that matter to me, man.

    “Coach Barnes sat in the gym with me for about an hour after. When I get tired, I start to sling the ball instead of having it in the high pocket. He noticed that right away and tried to help me fix it. I swear Tennessee has the best player development in the country. What other coach will sit in the gym with me for an hour and point out my weaknesses instead of just talking me up? That really stuck out to me on my visit. It wasn’t just a show.”

    He explained why he chose the Vols over Duke and Clemson.

    “It really isn’t anything against Duke or Clemson,” he wrote. “They both were great. Really great. But people always said when you know, you’ll know. And I knew. I already knew in my heart so I didn’t think it was fair to waste anybody’s time. That wouldn’t be a cool move on my part.”

    James is a physical guard who likes to get to the hoop. He also is noted for excelling in transition as he displays great court vision. His length is another attribute that stands out away from other guards. His length helps on the defensive end as he plays great on ball defense.

    James plans to bring a diverse skill set.

    “Whatever they need me to do, I’m a versatile player,” he told ZAGSBLOG in June when he won a gold medal with the USA U18 team. “I can handle the ball, I can shoot the ball, I can play defense. I can guard 1 through 4 at the college level and that’s definitely what I’m working on day in and day out, but I’ll defiintely do whatever they need me to do.”

    He joins small forward Davonte Gaines and power forward Drew Pember in Tennessee’s 2019 class.

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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.