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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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Monday / January 30.
  • Skeen Has Top Three (Updated); Recruiting, Big East Notes

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    Jamie Skeen, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward who is transferring from Wake Forest, is considering three schools for his next possible destination and hopes to decide by later this month or early January.

    “Right now it’s three schools that really want me, Seton Hall, South Florida and VCU,” Skeen said Thursday in a phone interview.

    “So far I have visited Seton Hall first [last weekend]. I got back late last night from VCU. I drove up there. My plane leaves for South Florida at 6 tomorrow evening.”

    Skeen was declared ineligible for the fall semester at Wake Forest for violating the school’s academic policy and told the team last week that he would not appeal for reinstatement to the university.

    Skeen will have two years of eligibility left but would have to sit out a year if he transfers.

    In two seasons at Wake, Skeen averaged 6.6 points and 4.4 rebounds. He was named North Carolina’s Mr. Basketball in 2005, the same season he led North Mecklenburg to the N.C. 4A state championship.

    Skeen visited Seton Hall last weekend (Dec. 6-8) and saw the campus, the Prudential Center in Newark and Manhattan.

    “It was nice,” Skeen said. “They took me to New York and showed me around. I had never been to Manhattan. I saw Rucker Park. I do remember the big ]Christmas] tree. I saw everywhere in Manhattan. I saw the Prudential Center. It’s huge. I have never been in an arena like that before.

    “I was there for two days. I got to meet John Garcia. He was my host. I just met the rest of the team in practice. I worked out with them afterward. I worked out with Paul Gause and with No. 23, Robert “Stix” Mitchell. That was pretty much it. I played video games. I was killing all of them in 2K9, xbox 360. I’m the man at that game.”

    Seton Hall currently has two transfers in Herb Pope (New Mexico State) and Keon Lawrence (Missouri). Pope is sitting out the year as per NCAA regulations and Lawrence has applied for a waiver to play this year and should know by Dec. 20.

    As for the trip to VCU, Skeen spent just one night there, staying in the Jefferson hotel.

    “I was there for less than 24 hours,” he said. “It was more like I went to go see the campus and that was pretty much it. I spent time with the coaches. Eric Maynor and the coaches.”

    As for South Florida, “I’ve been there when they played the ACC Tournament there my freshman year.”

    Asked to describe his game, Skeen said:

    “I like to create different mismatches. I’m 6-8 and I can shoot the 3-ball pretty good. If they put a guard on me, I would love to post up. If I have big man i would love to take him out on the 3-point line and take him to the basket. I love to create mismatches.”

    Skeen said he will huddle with his family over the holiday break and make a decision soon.

    “I’m not trying to rush it, but I’m not trying to take up too much time,” he said. “I’m definitely going to try to have my decision by at least January or late December.”

    RECRUITING & TRANSFER NOTES

    In addition to what I’ve already posted on Vincent Council and DeAndre Kane (pictured), here are a few more random notes from my trip yesterday to the Patterson (NC) School-Apex Academy game in Cherry Hill. Patterson has players from Iran, Sudan, Turkey, Lebanon, Mali, and from a dozen states outside North Carolina. Remember the name David Nyrasuk, a 7-foot center at Patterson originally from the Sudan. He had 10 points, five rebounds, five blocks in the 108-63 blowout. Patterson coach Chris Chaney said Tennessee is in strong with him, and that Ohio State and N.C. State are also involved. “Tennessee talk to me and Kentucky and Ohio State and Indiana,” Nyrasuk said….LaSalle has its eye on Ben Mockford, a 6-2 guard originally from London who plays for Apex. I had him unofficially with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Looks like he could be a shooter at the next level….Eugene Teague, a 6-8 big man from Bridgeton, NJ who plays for Apex, told me has an offer from South Florida and listed a bunch of other interested schools….Marshall recruit Hassan Whiteside looks like he’ll be a force at the next level. Apex had no answer for him as he threw down a slew of dunks…Patterson has a small-ish guard named Hunter McClintock who hit a few 3’s and is being recruited by Hawaii and Washington State….A couple of people have emailed me about Villanova transfer Casiem Drummond and how much eligibility he’ll have left. I’m told he’ll have a minimum of three semesters and a max of four. He visited Marist last weekend….Rutgers transfer Christian Morris may be able to get a redshirt for this year, giving him four years of eligibility after he transfers. He has interest from TCU, Western Kentucky, Penn State and others….Providence will likely redshirt Bilal Dixon of Jersey City and Jamine Peterson of Brooklyn in an effort to prepare them for the down the road. The Friars have fifth-year senior Randall Hanke and senior Jon Kale.

    BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Weekly Report

    Georgetown Vs. Memphis Tips Off BIG EAST’s CBS Sports Schedule

    The 2008-09 BIG EAST schedule on CBS Sports begins Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET when Georgetown hosts Memphis at the Verizon Center. CBS is televising the game nationally. The contest is the first of nine CBS telecasts this season that will include BIG EAST teams. The BIG EAST and CBS have been partners since 1985, the longest relationship of any conference and national network. Saturday’s game is a battle between two nationally ranked teams. The Hoyas are 19th in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls. Memphis is 17th and 15th, respectively. Georgetown goes into the game riding a 26-game home winning streak, the fifth longest current streak in the nation.

    SEC-BIG EAST Invitational On Tap For Next Week

    The second annual SEC-BIG EAST Invitational takes place next Tuesday and Thursday in Nashville and Cincinnati. The two doubleheaders pair teams from the BIG EAST and the Southeastern Conferences. ESPN or ESPN2 will televise each game.

    Dec. 16, Sommet Center, Nashville, Tenn.

    USF vs. Vanderbilt 7:00 ESPN2

    Marquette vs. Tennessee 9:30 ESPN

    Dec. 18, U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio

    Cincinnati vs. Mississippi State 6:30 ESPN2

    Louisville vs. Mississippi 9:00 ESPN

    Last year, the BIG EAST won three of the four matchups.

    Important Mid-Year Additions Set To Join BIG EAST Squads

    With the end of the semester approaching, some BIG EAST teams have important personnel additions who will be eligible to play soon. At USF, the Bulls will welcome a pair of players who can start participating Sunday against Niagara, guard Mike Mercer, a transfer from Georgia, and forward Augustus Gilchrist, a highly regarded freshman. Connecticut will get a boost from forward Stanley Robinson who missed the first semester for personal reasons. Robinson averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds as a starter last season. He is eligible for Monday’s game against Stony Brook.

    Villanova, Cincinnati Set For City Rivalry Games

    Villanova and Cincinnati are preparing for battle in two of the nation’s hottest city rivalry games. ESPN2 is carrying both contests. No. 15/12 Villanova hosts Saint Joseph’s on Thursday and Cincinnati welcomes No. 10/9 Xavier on Saturday. Both games tip off at 8 p.m. ET.



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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.