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.
Waithe to Arkansas; ‘Nova Hosting Mania; Stewart to Rider
Marvell Waithe and Rutgers flirted with each other over the period of several years, but in the end the 6-foot-8, 200-pound Canadian forward will play in the SEC.
Waithe on Thursday committed to Arkansas over Rutgers after visiting both schools.
“Yes, he let [Arkansas head coach John] Pelphrey know yesterday about 3 o’clock,” Tallahassee Community College coach Eddie Barnes said by phone.
“Marvell sat down and evaluated everything and he just felt like he was a better fit for Arkansas than for Rutgers. He really struggled with the decision. That’s why coming back from his visit [to Rutgers] on Sunday he took about three days to really think about it.”
Waithe visited Arkansas the weekend of Oct. 9 and watched as the Razorbacks hammered Auburn 44-23 in football.
“It was really nice,” he told me recently. “I really enjoyed my time down there in Fayetteville. The football game was nuts, it was crazy.”
As for basketball, he said: “They want me to come and be an impact player. That’s what my plan is coming from junior college. I’m not really focusing on high major. I’m just trying to play.”
Waithe, who was recruited by Rutgers coming out of high school in Canada, visited New Jersey again last weekend for the Pitt-Rutgers football game.
“He liked the staff, he liked the players at Rutgers and everything but when everything was put down on paper, he just felt like he felt more comfortable with the fit with Arkansas than with Rutgers,” Barnes said.
Waithe averaged 17.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season and was named first-team Coaches’ All-Panhandle Conference. Waithe was recently named a fourth-team Super Sophomore in the Sporting News’ JUCO Report.
“He’s going to be somebody who’s long and athletic that can run the floor,” Barnes said. “He’s going to be able to defend on the perimeter but also play inside a little bit. He’ll be able to stretch defenses because of his range.”
He added: “He’s going to make money someplace.”
‘NOVA HOSTING MANIAVillanova will host its Hoops Mania tonight and numerous players are expected to attend, including 2011 commit Achraf Yacoubou of Long Island Lutheran and 2010 guard Cory Joseph of Findlay (Nev.) Prep.
“Coach Jay Wright is a down-to-earth guy,” Joseph told The Las Vegas Sun. “And I like that staff. It should be good. I’ll get guys’ opinions on how it is. I’ll relax and chill with them and see what the real Villanova is like.”
Joseph has already visited Texas and UConn and will visit Minnesota next weekend. Devoe Joseph, Cory’s brother, is a sophomore there.
Joseph will then pick two officials from among Florida, Mississippi State and UNLV.
As for the UConn visit, Joseph was on campus when football player Jasper Howard was stabbed to death. He might have made the dance at which it happened had not a meeting with head coach Jim Calhoun run long, according to The Sun.
“It’s unbelievable,” Joseph told the paper. “Crazy. An unbelievable loss and tragedy. It must hurt.”
2010 forward JayVaughn Pinkston of Bishop Loughlin (pictured courtesy GoAZcats.com) will not make the trip to Villanova.
He is considering Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Marquette and Tennessee and New Heights coach Kimani Young has indicated Villanova might be the perfect fit for him.
“I think that Villanova is probably the perfect scenario for a kid like JayVaughn and many other kids in New York City, a place where winning has been there,” Young said. “A great academic institution. The coaching…But his options are still open.”
STEWART TO RIDERDaniel Stewart, a 6-7 PF from Neumann-Goretti, has committed to Rider over Fairfield and Robert Morris. He was a first-team All-Catholic League selection as a junior and averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds. Great get by Broncs coach Tommy Dempsey.
(Photo courtesy Tallahassee College Athletics)
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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.