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.
Joe Jackson will commit to Memphis today at 6:30 on the Memphis campus.
“Yes, he is,” Memphis White Station coach Jesus Patino said by phone.
“I think he’s just a home kid. He’s born and raised here. He really likes the city, likes everything about being home. Even when we go on trips he can wait to go home.”
Jackson, who chose the Tigers over Kansas and Tennessee, will join fellow 2010 guard Will Barton of Brewster (N.H.) Academy to form a tremendously strong backcourt for head coach Josh Pastner beginning next season.
The 5-foot-11 Jackson is the No. 5 point guard and No. 12 overall player in the Class of 2010, according to Rivals.
He reportedly wrote this on his Facebook page: “I am committing TONIGHT at the Larry Finch Center at 6:30 pm. Come support me and one of the biggest decisions (of) my life. … Kansas, TN, Memphis. What (will it) be?”
Patino said Jackson could have a similar impact on Memphis as Penny Hardaway once did.
“I think it will be the same way as when Penny Hardaway decided to stay in Memphis,” Patino said. “It’s the biggest thing to happen to this city in a while.”
Jackson told me last month at the Boost Mobile event in New York that he liked Memphis because the home crowd would support him.
“A lot of people [are] going to be in your ear…telling you you can be this or you can be that,” he said. “I know you could, but that would be a good thing too, though. All the fans would be behind my back. I would never have to worry about anything.”
He said he was still strongly considering Memphis despite the sanctions that saw Memphis vacate its 2008 Final Four appearance in the wake of the Derrick Rose scandal.
“I kind of knew about it before,” he said. “I already knew what went down so I was just waiting on them to get rid of that season because I knew there was a lot of funny stuff going on.”
Patino said Jackson will bring some much needed stability to Pastner’s program as he takes over in the post-John Calipari Era.
“I think he brings them back some stability of what they’re trying to accomplish,” Patino said.
“The transition going on between Calipari and a young coach with no experience in the coaching ranks but plenty of experience in the business. He brings stability, the character and the leadership. He continues to embrace the city.”
Patino said Jackson started to make the decision “about a week ago.” Pastner then met with Jackson and his grandmother, Lillie Cox, on Wednesday night in their home.
“He thought about going to Tennessee and Kansas and visiting and then he talked to his grandmother,” the coach said. “His grandmother is 75 years old. She raised him and his two younger sisters and brother. She is the key instrument of Joe’s upbringing. She’s doing a tremendous job.”
Patino said he respected Jackson for making the decision to stay home.
“I think the thing I respect the most about him is he could’ve made a selfish decision,” Patino said. “He could’ve taken the high rode and gone to Kansas or Tennessee. They would’ve offered just as much for a kid of that age.
“But to decide to stay home because of family and because it’s important to the city, it’s a rare thing. To put himself second, that’s why I’m proud of him the most. He took other people into consideration.”
Long Island Lutheran coach Brian Carey has been replaced by assistant John Buck. Speaking of Luhi, Villanova coaches came to watch talented junior guard Achraf Youcoubo today and Georgia Tech was in on Wednesday..Tremendous story here about Joe Young, who committed to Providence despite the fact that his father, Michael Young, is an assistant with Tom Penders at Houston. Penders says he will continue to recruit the kid…Providence head coach Keno Davis will check in with Devon Collier during open gym today at St. Anthony, and then Davis heads out to Long Island to meet with J.J. Moore’s family…Elizabeth (NJ) St. Patrick guard Kyrie Irving will reportedly visit Texas A&M Oct. 9, following his visits to Duke (Sept. 25) and Indiana (Oct. 2). Indiana has an in-home with the Irvings on Sunday…Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier Journal reports the following in-home visits for Kentucky coach John Calipari:
Wednesday – Tobias Harris
Thursday – Doron Lamb
Saturday – Adreian Payne
Sunday – Stacey Poole
Monday – Brandon Knight
Tuesday – Josh Selby
Tuesday – Kyrie Irving
Sept. 22 – Terrence Jones
Demling says Louisville coach Rick Pitino has these visits:
Saturday – Tobias Harris
Sunday – Rod Odom
Monday – J.J. Moore
**Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant says UConn is involved with Brandon Knight, Cory Joseph, Roscoe Smith, Josh Selby, Rod Odom, Jeremy Lamb, Kyrie Irving and Tobias Harris.
“We’re in very good shape, but we have to be careful because all of the sudden Jamal [Coombs-McDaniel] looks like a terrific three-man,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun told Anthony. “Let’s understand what we have so we’re going forward properly. Without early commitments, it’s only becuase we’re involved with some of the best kids against some of the best programs. It’s that simple. And there are a couple kids who maybe you haven’t heard quite a lot about but we think you’re going to hear an awful lot about.”
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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.