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.
Just received my May issue of Basketball Times in the mail and was impressed to see that Rutgers has the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation for 2009.
Fred Hill’s three recruits for that class — 6-9 center Greg Echenique of St. Benedict’s Prep, 6-6 forward Dane Miller of Rush-Henrietta and 6-7 forward Austin Johnson of Blair Academy — topped a Who’s Who of established programs, including No. 5 UConn, No. 6 Clemson and No. 10s Florida, Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova and UCLA.
Of course, this ranking could change if Echenique enrolls as a redshirt for 2008, which could well happen. Also, if Jonathan Mitchell, the Florida transfer from Mount Vernon, were to pick Rutgers, that would also augment the recruiting class for ’09, since Mitchell will have to sit out a year before suiting up.
At any rate, this is a major coup for Coach Hill and the RU fans.
Several New Jersey players also figured prominently in Clark Francis’s rankings, with St. Patrick guard Dexter Strickland a part of North Carolina’s No. 1-ranked class and St. Benedict’s guard Tamir Jackson listed among No. 3 UAB’s incoming recruits for ’09.
As for the rankings in the Class of 2008….
Hoop Scoop’s Top 5 classes went like this:
1-Kansas (including forward Quintrell Thomas of St. Patrick and twins Marcus and Markieff Morris of Pennsauken Apex Academy)
5-Louisville (including St. Benedict’s forward Samardo Samuels)
PHILLY CLASSIC UPDATE
The Hoop Group is negotiating with Rutgers to participate in the Philly Hoops Classic in 2009, not 2008, according to sources at the Hoop Group. Seton Hall participated in the event last year, upsetting then-No. 23 Virginia in one of the finals at the Palestra.
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.