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.
Rice coach Maurice Hicks can hardly keep track of the revolving door of high-major coaches flocking to see 6-foot-9 senior big man Kadeem Jack.
After Jack returned Friday night from an official trip to Arizona, he proceeded to lead Rice to the title at the 3rd annual SNY Invitational with back-to-back wins over Boys & Girls and Cardozo at LIU-Brooklyn.
Over the two games, Miami assistant Jorge Fernandez, Seton Hall assistant Scott Adubato, St. John’s assistant Fred Quartlebaum and Providence assistant Rodell Davis were all on hand to watch Jack.
“I tell the coaches now that every day a new big-time coach is calling for him,” Hicks said. “And I tell them that his upside is great.”
And why not?
Jack, who spent 10 years of his childhood in Trinidad & Tobago, has only been playing ball for four years, yet he has tremendous upside. He’s a natural shot-blocker and rebounder and his ability to score around the basket is still improving. If he can develop a face-up game and improve his foul shooting, look out.
“Kadeem hasn’t been playing basketball for a long time,” Hicks said. “I think it’s a great thing because you can teach him. He doesn’t have the bad habits. As soon as you tell him to do something he does it right away. He’s a kid that loves to play and I think his upside is tremendous.”
If Jack opts to attend Arizona, he would join Westchester (Calif.) High School senior combo guard Jordin Mayes, who committed on Monday.
“Jordin always liked Arizona because he grew up watching Damon and Salim,” Darryel Mayes, Jordin’s father, told the Arizona Daily Star . “He understands a lot of guards did well at Arizona.”
Darryel played at UNLV and knows former Arizona players Damon and Salim Stoudemire.
With the addition of the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Mayes, it is unclear what is in store for Arizona’s recruiting.
The Daily Star reported that the Wildcats have just one scholarship remaining for 2010 and 2011, yet they are involved with Jack, Baltimore’s Josh Selby, New York’s Doron Lamb and Michigan’s Ray McCallum.
A source close to the Arizona program said Selby, Lamb and Jack remain the program’s “highest priorities.”(Photo courtesy Daily News)
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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.