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.
Jackson to Seton Hall (Again); Dixon Has Offers; Parrom Weighing Options; Fontan to Meet With Fordham
Jamel Jackson is back at Seton Hall.
The Brooklyn native signed with the Pirates out of Technical Career Institute and will add to their guard depth next season.
“I always wanted to play in the Big East and that will be a good fit because I like the style of play they play with,” Jackson said a year ago when he first committed to Seton Hall.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound shooting guard is Bobby Gonzalez’s first signing of the 2009 spring period and will join a trio of transfers, Keon Lawrence, Herb Pope and Jeff Robinson, as well as Melvyn Oliver, as new Pirates set to play this fall.
“We’re very excited to have Jamel re-join our family,” Gonzalez said. “Last year Jamel went back and got another year of experience on the junior college level that we think will benefit him. He’s another long-range shooter that will blend well with the guards we already have. A tough New York City kid, Jamel is a clever player with a great basketball I.Q. I believe he will be one of the missing pieces needed to give us great depth on our perimeter.”
Jackson originally committed to Seton Hall last spring, but decided to return to Technical Career Institute (TCI) in Manhattan, N.Y. for his sophomore year in order to concentrate on academics.
He will have two years of playing eligibility remaining once he joins Seton Hall. A Third Team All-American and Region XV Player of the Year as a freshman at TCI, Jackson averaged 24.5 points as a freshman and 21.5 as a sophomore. The talented guard was also named to the 2008 All-Sportsmanship Team.
The Pirates still need a power forward to add frontcourt depth along with John Garcia and Herb Pope. With Jarrid Famous spurning the Pirates for USF, look for Seton Hall to focus on Cliff Dixon, who visited this past weekend. Dixon initially committed to the Pirates before decommitting and reopening his recruitment.
The 6-9, 210-pound Dixon out of Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College said he enjoyed his weekend visit to Seton Hall and is also considering Missouri, Western Kentucky, Memphis and Kentucky.
“I leave on Friday for Western Kentucky,” Dixon said Monday by phone. “After that I might set up a visit to Memphis, or Kentucky might get that one. Missouri is coming to see me play tomorrow.”
Dixon added that Memphis coach Josh Pastner — who tried and failed to land Famous — had just offered.
“Memphis came in and offered me,” he said. “I got that in the last 2 or 3 days . He’s trying to see get me out there to see the campus.”
Kentucky already has DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton coming in, so Dixon might not be the best fit for them. It’s also unclear how much Kentucky is actually recruiting him.
As for Seton Hall, Dixon said he had a great time on the visit.
“I didn’t commit,” he said. “I like the school, I like the campus, I love the arena. That arena is amazing. I think it’s up there with the NBA arenas. That arena is crazy.
“I met some of the players, I met the academic adviser, I met everybody. The people seem nice. I really felt comfortable there.”
Still, he added: “I gotta keep my options open. I’m going to make a decision after my last visit.”
PARROM WEIGHING OPTIONSI spoke today with South Kent (Conn.) coach Kelvin Jefferson and he said the phone has been ringing off the hook with suitors for Kevin Parrom, a 6-6 wing from New York who recently got his release from Xavier.
Jefferson said coaches from Xavier (Chris Mack), Providence, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island and South Carolina had visited the school for open gyms, and that he had also heard from Arizona, Rutgers, St. John’s, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.
Former Xavier coach Sean Miller and assistant Book Richardson are now at Arizona.
Jefferson said Parrom would wait until the end of the live period on Wednesday before deciding where to take his four remaining official visits.
“When it’s done on Wednesday, he’ll decide what schools he’s going to visit,” Jefferson said. “Now he’s got to do some research where he says, ‘I can see myself in this situation and I can see myself being coached by this guy.'”
Jefferson also confirmed that James Stukes of Rice and Russ Smith of Archbishop Molloy were coming to South Kent next year, but said Keith Spellman was not definitely set.
Jefferson is a shooting guard out of Thomas Jefferson in Brooklyn.
“I have not seen him play and I have not spoken to him,” Jefferson said of Spellman.
“It’s just an option we’re looking into,” Jefferson coach Lawrence Pollard added.
FONTAN TO MEET WITH FORDHAMJio Fontan and his family will meet later this week with members of the Fordham administration to discuss his situation.
The 6-foot-1 Fontan seeks a release so that he can transfer, but the school has not granted it even though two other players — Trey Blue and Mike Moore — have been let loose.
Fontan is the face of the program and helped lure other recruits, such as Lance Brown of Paterson Catholic and Chris Gaston of St. Anthony/New Hampton, so the school is disinclined to release him.
St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley has publicly said that Fontan should spend at least another year at Fordham, but Fontan’s family wants him to be released.
Fontan and Rutgers guard Mike Rosario will play for Puerto Rico this summer in the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men in Auckland, New Zealand. Sixteen countries will compete in the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship that will be held July 2-12.
(Photos courtesy Newsday, Hutchinson, Rivals, Fordham)
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.