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.
John Calipari has sent back-to-back guards to the NBA lottery and is working on a third.
Is Brandon Knight next in line at Kentucky?
The 6-foot-3 Knight, the top prospect in the Class of 2010, has narrowed his list to four schools — Kentucky, Kansas, UConn and Florida — and will sign in the spring.
Considering Kentucky freshman John Wall will likely be the top pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, does it make sense that Knight will end up following in Wall’s foosteps?
“Is he John Wall’s replacement,” Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest coach Dave Beckerman asked rhetorically.
“I don’t think Brandon Knight is anybody’s replacement. He’s a true natural point guard. He has his own game.”
Calipari has proven to have a special touch with point guards.
Derrick Rose was the NBA Rookie of the Year last year with the Chicago Bulls.
Tyreke Evans is having a fine rookie campaign with the Sacramento Kings.
Calipari coached both at Memphis.
And Wall has led No. 3 Kentucky to a 10-0 record and has people talking about a potential Final Four appearance.
Just last week he dropped a season-high 25 points and 6 steals (together with 7 turnovers) on UConn in the SEC/Big East Invitational at Madison Square Garden.
When I asked Calipari where Wall compared to Rose and Evans, he answered: “He is a little bit ahead in what we are running on offense.”
Of course Kentucky won’t be the only program losing a point guard to the NBA.
Kansas will lose senior Sherron Collins and UConn could lose sophomore Kemba Walker.
Both teams, along with Florida, would love to land Knight, who boasts a 4.2 GPA, has already won two MVP trophies this season and was one of 10 high school players named to the Naismith Trophy Boys’ High School Player of the Year watch list on Friday.
Beckerman said Knight will watch all the teams this season and then decide after the high school season ends.
“He wants to see how schools do,” Beckerman said. “What recruiting classes are so that he can look in and find his spot and enroll at the right school.”
Of course if he ends up at Kentucky as the next lottery pick in line, don’t be surprised.
“Kentucky has shown a lot of interest,” Beckerman said.
MILK FIELDING OFFERS
Beckerman said 6-9 forward Matt Milk, a Long Island native playing at Pine Crest, has not committed to Florida International coach Isiah Thomas but remains interested and has also heard from other schools.
“Hartford has called on him. Fordham called on him. [Division 3] Trinity (Conn.) has been hot after him. He would be a big fish in a small pond there,” the coach said.
“A lot of people stopped calling because they thought he had committed to FIU,” Beckerman added. “The answer is he hasn’t committed. He’s waiting until the spring and evaluating his position.”
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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.