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.
Mike Rice isn’t wasting any time on the recruiting trail.
Having offically taken over the Rutgers head coaching job on Thursday, Rice will host a pair of Baltimore natives who are postgraduates at Fitchburg (Mass.) Notre Dame Prep next week.
Cleveland Melvin, a 6-foot-8 wing forward who initially committed to UConn, and Antoine Myers, a 6-3 point guard, will visit Rutgers May 11-13.
“Yes, that’s the plan,” said Anthony Lewis, head coach of the Baltimore-based Cecil Kirk AAU program that features both players. “It’s been in fruition for some time but Coach Rice had some obligations with his new position in terms of the media. He’d been trying to set it up ever since he was confirmed for the job.”
Rutgers has just six scholarship players right now and will add two more in the fall in 6-8 forward Gilvydas Biruta of St. Benedict’s Prep and 6-3 shooting guard Austin Carroll of Brewster (N.H.) Academy.
“There will be three to four visits in the next five to seven days,” Rice said Thursday. “We have located and identified some holes. We have seven or eight scholarship players, certainly there will be holes to fill. We are going to get some quality players. I know it’s late. We are against some pretty good teams and programs, but I think we will win some battles down here at the end and probably sign three or four. We are looking to make an impact, especially on this tri-state area.”
The 6-8, 210-pound Melvin initially committed to UConn and is now considering Marshall and Seton Hall, as well as Rutgers. He was on Seton Hall’s campus Thursday.
“It’s going lovely right now at Seton Hall,” Melvin said Thursday. “I love everything about this school. I mean this is by far one of the best visits I went to.”
Wherever he goes, Melvin could have an impact.
“He’s extremely athletic, 6-8, runs the floor,” Lewis said. “He’s a slasher-type scorer, wing-forward type player. He’s very quick, agile, can put it on the deck and get to the rack. He’s a solid defender on the perimeter and extremely athletic.”
Myers is a postgraduate point guard whom Notre Dame head coach Ryan Hurd said had a “Weyinmi Efejuku extra gear.”
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.