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.
Maryland Now Involved With Fontan; Toole Leading for Penn Job
Maryland is the latest team to express interest in former Fordham point guard Jio Fontan, according to those close to the player.
Todd Washington, an advisor to Fontan, said the Maryland staff reached out about the 6-foot-1 Fontan, who received a conditional release from Fordham that prevents him from playing in the Atlantic 10 or the tri-state area.
Washington said the current list of schools involved with Fontan includes Miami, USC, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Maryland.
He also mentioned Virginia Tech, Alabama and UCLA but said there has been no contact.
Fontan visited Miami last weekend and will hit USC this coming weekend for the Tennesssee-Southern Cal game Saturday.
“The USC and Tennessee visits, along with Miami, should provide a solid baseline for Jio and Jorge [Fontan] to determine if they want to do another visit,” Washington said.
“They are three great schools in great conferences so really Jio is in a no-lose situation. He’s blessed to have so many schools interested in him.”
The Miami visit went very well, according to both Jorge Fontan and Washington.
“Miami raised the bar in terms of honesty, integrity and communication with Coach [Frank] Haith. They clearly did a great job so now the others need to clearly communicate why their school is the right place for Jio,” Washington said.
Washington has heard the questions about whether Fontan can play in a big-time conference, and he has no doubts.
“Jio knows that some people question whether or not he can play at the ACC, SEC or PAC 10 level. But that is part of why he has a chip on his shoulder,” Washington said.
“I watched him in Puerto Rico all summer. A lot of people doubted he could compete against the best 19U players at the World Championships [in New Zealand]. He did more than just hold his own. He was one of the top point guards in the world. The brighter the lights the better he plays.”
CANDIDATES FOR PENN JOB
Sources say there are three leading candidates for the Penn job vacated by the recent firing of Glen Miller.Andy Toole, the associate head coach to Mike Rice at Robert Morris, is the leading candidate, sources say.
A Red Bank, N.J. native, Toole was a co-captain of the 2002-03 Penn team that finished 22-6. He helped Penn reach the NCAA tournament in 2002 and ’03.
Cornell coach Steve Donahue, who has led the Big Red to back-to-back NCAA tourney appearances, is also a candidate, as is Philly native Fran O’Hanlon, the Lafayette head coach.
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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.