Recruiting Update: J.J. Moore, Jamail Jones, Trevor Releford, Achraf Yacoubou | Zagsblog
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Monday / May 27.
  • Recruiting Update: J.J. Moore, Jamail Jones, Trevor Releford, Achraf Yacoubou

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    J.J. Moore is on the move.

    The 6-foot-5 senior wing from Long Island visited Providence last week and will hit Pittsburgh on Tuesday and potentially St. John’s on Thursday.

    “I think J.J. was really impressed with the new coach [at Providence, Keno Davis] and what they’re trying to build over there and he’s also impressed with the financial investment that the school and community has invested into making the program top notch,” said Hunt Bresky, Moore’s advisor who is making the trips with him.

    “He was really pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. He wasn’t as familiar with Providence as some of the other programs.”

    They will travel to Pitt Tuesday and then potentially St. John’s before likely attending the Marquette Elite Camp later this month. (St. John’s is also expecting a visit from JayVaughn Pinkston this week.)

    “We’re going to be scheduling a few more,” Bresky said. “We’re probably going to do something this week at St. John’s.”

    Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel is also anxious to bring in Moore, who will play at South Kent (Conn.) for his senior year.

    “Oklahoma has been reaching out to me and I haven’t been able to speak to them yet,” Bresky said. “They’re anxious to see if there’s a way J can come out there but I’m not sure if we can make that happen given the school year coming up.”

    UConn, Syracuse, Louisville, Rutgers and Seton Hall are also interested.

    Moore attended Rutgers elite camp earlier this summer and “he loved it,” New York Panthers coach Gary Charles said. “He said, ‘I love Rutgers.'”

    But Charles added that virtually every school in the Big East is on him.

    “[UConn coach Jim] Calhoun saw him and mouthed, “I love him,'” Charles said at the Reebok All-American Camp in Philly. “Marquette told me they love him. Everyone loves him.


    Marquette added to its 2010 recruiting haul Sunday when it landed a verbal commitment from Jamail Jones, a 6-foot-6 1/2 -inch, 205-pound guard from Stone Mountain, Ga. who will play at Monteverde (Fla.) Academy this year.

    Jones joins guard Aaron Bowen of Jacksonville, Fla., and junior-college forward Monterale Clark of Milwaukee.

    Jones reportedly chose Marquette over Oklahoma, Xavier and Mississippi State.

    “From the first time I was on campus, I started to like it,” Jones told the Journal Sentinel. “By the second time I went up there with my parents, I had pretty much locked in that I was going to commit.”


    Trevor Releford, a 6-foot, 180-pound point guard from Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege, told he will likely end up at Alabama or Oklahoma, although Arizona and Tennessee are still in the mix.

    Releford, the younger brother of Kansas guard Travis Releford, said he likes Alabama the most because of his relationship with new head coach Anthony Grant.

    “Alabama is the top because they’ve been there the longest,” Releford told me recently. “I talk to coach a lot and I was his first guy. He started recruiting me.”

    Capel, the Oklahoma coach, has also worked hard to develop a relationship.

    LJ Goolsby, Releford’s AAU coach, said it could come down to Alabama or Oklahoma.

    “I think he likes the head coaches a lot. They’ve spent a lot of time recruiting him so far. It sounds like he’s cut it down to those two,” he said. “Arizona and Tennessee have a chance but those two sound like they are his leaders.”

    Goolsby said Releford will tentatively visit Oklahoma the weekend of Sept. 11 and Alabama the following weekend.

    “Right now I think they’re pretty much even,” Goolsby said. “I think he’s just wanting to get a little bit deeper into the situation and go from there.”


    Achraf Yacoubou, a 6-4, 200-pound 2011 shooting guard out of Long Island Lutheran, has a slew of offers but three schools top his list.

    “My top three is UConn, Villanova and Kentucky. They are showing me the most love equally,” he said Monday by phone.

    He said he plans to visit Kentucky for its Midnight Madness and also plans to see UConn and Villanova again.

    Yacoubou rattled off a long list that UConn, Villanova, Harvard, Xavier, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Maryland, Florida, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma and Rutgers.

    I saw Yacoubou in February, when he dropped 23 points on Dominic Cheek and St. Anthony in an upset of the Friars in Bob Hurley’s gym.

    In a game that also featured Tobias Harris, Devon Collier and Derrick Williams, Yacobou was the best player on the floor.


    5-11 Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy Point guard Khalif Toombs signed with South Carolina, according to a source. Remember the name Rob Loe. The 6-11 big man from New Zealand, who will play for Dan Barto at IMG, is getting interest from Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Pitt after initial interest from Portland, Colorado, Washington State, St. Mary’s and Valpo.

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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.

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