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.
Lamb to Meet with St. John’s Lavin; Leslie to Visit UConn, Florida; Napier to UConn (UPDATED)
INDIANAPOLIS — Steve Lavin has been on the job at St. John’s less than a week but his arrival appears to already be paying dividends.
According to sources with knowledge, Lavin will meet with prized shooting guard Doron Lamb of Queens after the Final Four.
“Doron and his family will be meeting with Steve Lavin after the Final Four,” a source said. “St. John’s is an option.”
The 6-foot-4 Lamb is a senior at Oak Hill (Va.) Academy ranked No. 3 among shooting guards in the Class of 2010. He has previously listed his top five as Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, UConn and West Virginia. He plans to announce April 17 at the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden.
“If I’m the next coach of St. John’s, my first call is still to Doron Lamb,” Gary Charles, head coach of the New York Panthers, said before Lavin was hired. “I would give him the opportunity. He’s an All-American. He’s pretty damn good and he’s a New York kid.”
Oak Hill’s season ended Thursday when they lost to Beckley (W. Va.) Mountain State Academy, 59-53, in the semifinals of the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational in Baltimore.
Lavin is currently in New York and may or may not come briefly to the Final Four.
He is busy assembling a staff and interviewed former Hofstra assistant Van Macon on Thursday in New York.
LESLIE PLOTTING VISITSC.J. Leslie, a 6-8 forward out Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Academy, will visit UConn and Florida in the coming weeks.
The Hartford Courant reported that Leslie would visit UConn after the Jordan Brand Classic April 17 at Madison Square Garden.
But when reached by phone, Leslie said he planned to visit Florida “after the Jordan game.”
A source with knowledge said Leslie was tentatively slated to visit Florida April 18 and that Leslie was also supposed to visit Oregon April 23, even though the program has no coach.
As for the UConn trip, Leslie said, “I’m not sure yet.”
His mother, Lisa Leslie, was not immediately available by phone.
Leslie has visited Kentucky and N.C. State in the past.
He lists UConn, Florida, Kentucky, N.C. State and Oregon as his top five.
“I don’t have [any] favorite,” he said by phone.
NAPIER TO UCONN
UConn also got a verbal commitment Friday from 6-1 point guard Shabazz Napier of Groton (Mass.) Lawrence Academy.
According to the Hartford Courtant, Napier is listed as Class of 2011 but will join the Huskies next season.
“He’s 5-11 and tipping the scales at 160 pounds,” Lawrence coach Kevin Wiercinski told the Courant. “He’s a guy who you have to watch a little bit at the point guard position — his instincts, all that type of stuff, his ability to create and his ability to just shoot. He’s got Division I skills in several categories. Some guys have Division I bodies or shoot at a Division I level or maybe they can rebound on a Division I level. You look at Shabazz and he’s got not only Division I skills, but he’s going to be in the upper echelon of Division I skills in several categories. Then you throw in not only skills like that but his attributes — one of the most competitive people you’ll meet, driven to win — and you’ve got a real winner’s cocktail, an interesting combination.”
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.