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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Here are a few quick notes from the world of college hoops and recruiting…
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski checked out John Wall, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2009 according to Rivals,on Friday night, according to Dave Telep of Scout. N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe was also in attendance for every game of the Word of God Invitational at which Wall was named MVP. Word of God outscored its two opponents by 63 points in the event.
Wall is considering Duke, Memphis, N.C. State, Baylor, Miami, Oregon and Kansas. He previously told me he planned to visit Duke, but has not set a date.
**Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant reports that UConn coaches are optimistic that 6-10 Sudanese native Ater Majok (pictured)will be cleared by the NCAA in time for the Dec. 15 tilt against Stony Brook at the XL Center. He’s currently in Australia.
“He’ll be back in the states sometime next week,” UConn assistant Andre LaFleur.
Majok would give UConn 13 scholarship players, meaning big man Stanley Robinson would play as a non-scholarship player.
Talk about an imposing frontline. UConn could have 7-foot-3 Hasheem Thabeet, 7-1 Charles Okwandu, 6-7 Jeff Adrien, Majok and the 6-9 Robinsonby second semester.
“It’s just going to be a matter of keeping the chemistry,” LaFleur said. “Definitely we’ll be adding two very, very high-level guys, it’s just a matter of keeping the chemistry.”
Anthony does the math on scholarships and says UConn will lose seniors Adrien Craig Austrie and A.J. Price and likely junior Hasheem Thabeet.Alex Oriakhi and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel are coming in. Add Robinson and that would put UConn at 11.
UConn is focusing on 2010 and 2011 recruits, including point guard Brandin Knight out of Pinecrest (Fla.) whom assistant coach Pat Sellers recently went to watch.
**Seton Hall still has gotten no word from the NCAA on 6-11 freshman Melvyn “Big Mel” Oliver or junior guard Keon Lawrence. Oliver is awaiting word from the Clearinghouse, and Lawrence is seeking a hardship waiver to play this season. Seton Hall recruit Cliff Dixon, who earlier this year dropped 27 points in a game for Hutchinson (Ks.) Community College, remains suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team.”
“Cliff is a very long and skilled power forward,” Hutchinson coach Ryan Swanson said via email. “He has a tremendous upside as his biggest drawback right now is his strength level which can be improved by the time he plays for Seton Hall. He was being recruited by a lot of Big 12 and Big East schools.”
Seton Hall is 5-1 entering Tuesday’s tilt with Monmouth at the Prudential Center.
**Kansas and Memphis appear to be in a holding pattern regarding Lance Stephenson, who did not sign in the fall. Look for both programs to watch his progress this season and then go from there.
Both programs are also involved with St. Anthony wing Dominic Cheek, who will decide between Kansas, Memphis, Villanova, PItt and Rutgers.
Having lost out on Xavier Henry, Kansas desperately needs a wing from the Class of 2009. Memphis coach John Calipari told me his offense can utilize four wings and a big, so the fact that they got Henry doesn’t preclude picking up Cheek or other wings.
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.