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.
Collins, Aldrich Returning to KU; Famous to Visit Arizona; Big East Rundown; Isiah to FIU
Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich both announced Monday night at the 2009 Awards Banquet that they would return to Kansas next season.
“I can’t wait till next year when we try to go for one more,” Aldrich, who averaged 14.9 points and 11.1 rebounds, said at the banquet, according to Gary Bedore and Jesse Newell of KUSports.com.
Collins averaged a team-high 18.9 points for a Jayhawks team that lost to Michigan State in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and finished 27-8.
“We’re always actively recruiting, but we just signed our two biggest recruits there,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.
The return of Collins and Aldrich automatically makes Kansas a contender for its second national championship in three years. The Jayhawks also return sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor of Jersey City St. Anthony and Philly big men Marcus and Markieff Morris.
Kansas could also land either 6-6 wing Xavier Henry, who recently got his release from Memphis and could land at Kansas, Kentucky or Memphis, or Lance Stephenson, who has repeatedly expressed his desire to play with a talented big man such as Aldrich.
FAMOUS TO VISIT ARIZONAArizona head coach Sean Miller has already landed Kyryl Natyazhko, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound center who chose Arizona over Arizona State, and Solomon Hill, a 6-6 small forward who orally committed to USC in the fall.
Now Arizona is making a serious push for Jarrid Famous, a 6-foot-11 center out of Westchester (N.Y.) Community College who was the Mid-Hudson Conference and Region XV Player of the Year.
The connection is Book Richardson, who recruited Famous while at Xavier and moved to Arizona with Miller. Famous had planned to visit Xavier this past weekend.
“Jarrid plans to visit Arizona this weekend,” WCC assistant Dave Vandiver said in a text. “Mizzou head coach Mike Anderson and assistant Melvin Watkins visited with Jarrid this past weekend at his home.”
Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon and associate head coach Tommy Herrion and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez watched Famous work out last Friday.
Famous has taken officials to Seton Hall, Missouri and South Florida.
Seton Hall, Missouri, South Florida, UConn and a few others had been in the mix for a while, but Arizona and Pitt are now making a hard push just days before the late signing period is to begin.
BUTLER, EBANKS RETURNING TO WEST VIRGINIAWhile practically every top Big East school is losing players to the NBA, watch out for West Virginia next year.
Both freshman forward Devin Ebanks and junior Da’Sean Butler will return to campus next season, according to a member of the staff.
Ebanks, a Long Island City, N.Y. native, broke out during the Big East Tournament as a legitimate go-to guy and ended up averaging 10.5 points and 7.8 rebounds. Butler, a Newark native, has emerged as a genunine Big East star after averaging 17.1 points and 5.9 boards.
Considering that Truck Bryant and Kevin Jones will both have a year of experience under their belt, and that Bob Huggins is bringing in another top recruiting class (Danny Jennings, Dalton Pepper and Deniz Kilicli), the Mounties should be among the teams to beat.
Villanova should again be tremendous with the return of guards Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Reggie Redding and Corey Stokes; and the additions of Duke transfer Taylor King and recruits Mouphtaou Yarou, Isaiah Armwood, Dominic Cheek and Maalik Wayns.
Louisville will again be strong. The Cards are losing Earl Clark, Terrence Williams and Andre McGee, but return Samardo Samuels, Jared Swopshire, Terrence Jennings, Jerry Smith and Edgar Sosa.
A bunch of upper-echelon teams should drop off a notch or two. UConn will lose Hasheem Thabeet, Jeff Adrien and A.J. Price; Pitt is losing Sam Young, Levance Fields and DeJuan Blair; Syracuse will be without Jonny Flynn, Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris; and Marquette loses Dominic James, Wes Matthews and Jerel McNeal.HITTIN THE LINKS:**Isiah Thomas to Florida International**Student warned over Facebook site wooing John Wall**St. Anthony loses a giant in Sister Alan
(Photos courtesy KUSports.com and WCC Athletics)
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.