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.
Travis Ford secured one of the top point guards in the Class of 2009 when 5-foot-9, 160-pound guard Ray Penn committed Sunday to Oklahoma State.
With John Wall likely headed elsewhere, Oklahoma State moved quickly to land a point guard for the future. Penn, out of Richmond (TX) Travis High, made news at the Reebok Summer Championships when he scored 37, 43 and 44 points in three games, setting several scoring records while playing for the Houston Superstars.
He chose Oklahoma State over Missouri, Mississippi State, South Florida, Providence, Colorado State and Texas Christian.
Penn joins Fred Gulley and Trenton Marshall as 2009 Oklahoma State commitments.
“I like the coach,” Penn said by phone. “There were a lot of other schools in the running. They were all saying that I was the the man. It really just boiled down to the conference. The Big 12, it don’t get no better than that. You got a chance to play against people who, some are pros. Why pass up an opportunity like that?
“Coach Ford is new. When I get there he’ll have a year under his belt. We can get into the fire together. We can get on the roller coaster together. I can compete right now in the Big 12. I gotta get stronger.”
Penn’s summer coach, John Eurey, says Penn is better right now than T.J. Ford was at this stage of his career. T.J. Ford also played for the Superstars.
“I think (Travis Ford’s) getting the best point guard in the country,” Eurey said. “You can’t coach speed, and when a guy can shoot, that’s tough. He’s better than T.J. Ford at this level.”
Eurey added that Penn wanted to test himself against elite competition in the Big 12.
“He wanted to play in a big conference,” he said. “He wanted to play against the best players.
he wants to play against the best competition, he’s an elite player. He’s got a chance to lead them to a national championship or play in the NBA.”
Tony Chenault, a 6-1 sophomore point guard from Neumann-Goretti, committed to Wake Forest.
“Chris (Paul) is one of his favorite players and he loved the campus and the academic part of it,” assistant coach John Mosco told Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com. “(Wake assistant) Jeff Battle worked hard and played in the Public League and has known Tony’s father from back in the 1980s.”
Chenault also had offers from Villanova, Indiana, Marquette, St. Joe’s and Rutgers.
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.