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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DeMarcus Cousins to Kentucky; Thompson to Fordham; Mack Next at Xavier?
Score one for John Calipari.
He landed 6-foot-10 center DeMarcus Cousins to Kentucky after Cousins had initially made an oral commitment to Memphis while Calipari was there.
“I just committed tonight,” Cousins told Scout.com’s Evan Daniels on Tuesday. “I’m going to UK.”
Cousins averaged 29 points and 12 rebounds last season and is the No. 2 overall recruit in the Rivals 150 for 2009.
“He’s like a man shopping. He didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the store,” Otis Hughley, Cousins’ high school coach at Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore, said by phone. “He knew what he wanted from the beginning and he felt like he found what he needed in Coach Cal.”
Hughley said Cousins also considered Washington, N.C. State, Kansas State and Alabama.
“He thought he had it over with twice [before],” Hughley said, referring to Cousins’ previous verbal commitments to UAB and then Memphis. Cousins decommitted from UAB after the school would not give him an out from his Letter of Intent in the case that head coach Mike Davis left the program.
Cousins has not yet qualified for freshman eligibility, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. He has a 3.4 GPA but has yet to take either the SAT or the ACT, Hughley told the paper.
Cousins was on route Wednesday to Portland, Ore. for the Nike Hoop Summit where he will join point guard John Wall and swingman Xavier Henry, among others. Cousins told Rivals he is recruiting both players to Kentucky.
Asked if Wall and Henry might wind up at Kentucky with Cousins, Hughley said: “You never know when these kids get together.”
Wall had been leaning toward Memphis, but could still end up at Kentucky, Kansas, Baylor, Duke, N.C. State or possibly even North Carolina.
The 6-6 Henry received a release from his Letter of Intent at Memphis and has said he will take his time to pick his next destination. He prefers to play at Kansas, but his older brother, C.J., is tied to Memphis unless he can get an NCAA waiver to play immediately. Xavier could still wind up at Kansas or Kentucky with his brother at Memphis, or both brothers could end up at Kansas or Kentucky.
Kentucky is not pursuing 6-5 Brooklyn Lincoln wing Lance Stephenson, who could still end up at St. John’s or Maryland if Henry goes to Kansas.
THOMPSON TO FORDHAM
Danny Thompson, a 6-foot-4 wing from the Class of 2009, gave an oral commitment to Fordham University on Tuesday.
Thompson, a native of England, plays with the Canary Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands.
“Everything about Fordham University excites me, playing for Coach [Dereck] Whittenburg, getting a world class education, living in New York City and playing in the Atlantic 10,” Thompson said, according to the school Website. “My two years at CBA have been great. I can’t imagine being more prepared for the next level. I want to thank CBA for everything they’ve done. People have all kinds of opinions about CBA but unless you’ve lived it, you can never really understand how valuable it is.”
“This is unbelievable news for CBA and Danny,¨ said Rob Orellana, Director of the Canarias Basketball Academy. ¨This is a young man who has just worked his tail off for the last two years here at CBA and now all that hard work has paid off.” “Everything about Fordham University excites me, playing for Coach [Dereck] Whittenburg, getting a world class education, living in New York City and playing in the Atlantic 10,” Thompson said, according to the school Website. “My two years at CBA have been great. I can’t imagine being more prepared for the next level. I want to thank CBA for everything they’ve done. People have all kinds of opinions about CBA but unless you’ve lived it, you can never really understand how valuable it is.”“This is unbelievable news for CBA and Danny,¨ said , Director of the Canarias Basketball Academy. ¨This is a young man who has just worked his tail off for the last two years here at CBA and now all that hard work has paid off.”
Thompson joins 6-3 Lance Brown of Paterson (N.J.) Catholic, 6-7 Chris Gaston of New Hampton (N.H.) and 6-8 Brian Freeman of Potomac (Va.) Potomac Falls in the recruiting class.
MACK TO XAVIER?Elsewhere, look for Xavier to stay in house and name assistant Chris Mack as the new head coach to follow Sean Miller, who took the Arizona job.
Point guard Terrell Holloway of New York said he would prefer to play for Mack.
“Right now it’s a tough situation, and I need to talk things through with my family to decide what I’m going to do,” Holloway told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I haven’t thought things through too much. But I came to play for Coach Miller. I think things would be similar if it were Coach Mack because we know him and he was the coach under Coach Miller.”
Kevin Parrom, an incoming Xavier recruit from New York, said he would wait to make a decision.
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.