On the same day that Rutgers parted ways with center Brian Okam, Mike Rice and his staff hosted several top players from Brooklyn and Queens.
Okam, a 7-foot, 245-pound center from Lake Highland Prep School in Orlando, Fla., received his release from the school and won’t be back at Rutgers. Okam played in 16 games, averaging 1.1 point and 1.1 rebound a game.
That leaves 6-7 Jonathan Mitchell and 6-8 Austin Johnson as Rutgers’ remaining big men.
Meantime, Maurice Harkless of Forest Hills, Kamari Murphy and Shaq Stokes of Brooklyn Lincoln and former Brooklyn Jefferson wing Joel ‘Air Jamaica’ Wright were all on campus and played pickup with the team. Tyler Harris was at Rutgers on Thursday.
Aaron Cosby, a 6-foot-2, 185–pound combo guard from Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.), committed to Seton Hall during a weekend visit.
Cosby, a Louisville native now prepping at NMH, chose the Pirates over Boston College, Indiana, Providence, Northwestern, Marshall, Western Kentucky and St. Louis.
“Yes, it was a comfortability with the coaches,” Cosby said by phone. “I built a relationship with the coaches . They recruited me the hardest these last three months. Coach [Kevin] Willard and coach [Dan] McHale have been seeing me since I was a freshman in Louisville.”
Quincy Miller put up a double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds as the USA U18 National Team opened play at the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship by thrashing the U.S. Virgin Islands 131-63 on Saturday night in San Antonio, Texas.
Miller’s rebounds set a new record for the USA U18 National Team for single-game rebounds at this event, surpassing the previous record of 15 set by Shareef Abdur-Rahim versus Panama in 1994.
Austin Rivers (Winter Park H.S. / Winter Park, Fla.) was the high scorer with 18 points after firing off 4-of-6
Givon Crump, a 6-foot-7 wing from Washington, D.C., has decided to transfer to Fresno State from Baylor.
Crump, who also considered Rutgers and Seton Hall, averaged 0.4 points and 0.3 rebounds in 16 games as a reserve forward at Baylor last season. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.
“I feel comfortable with the staff at Fresno State,” Crump said by text. “I trust that Coach Q and Coach [Steve] Cleveland have sincere interest in my success as a basketball player and a young man.”
JAMAICA WRIGHT ON THE MOVE (UPDATED)
Joel ‘Air Jamaica’ Wright, a 6-6 forward from Brooklyn Thomas Jefferson, will visit Rutgers Sunday, Robert Morris on Monday and Rice Thursday.
So the Nets will reportedly get the first crack at LeBron James on July 1.
But with the news that president Rod Thorn will step down after July 8, will the uncertainty surrounding the franchise discourage James from coming to Newark and Brooklyn?
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and minority owner Jay-Z will be the first to meet with James in Ohio sometime after midnight Thursday, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine.
There will be no Lebron Across America Tour, as had been reported, and King James won’t arrive in New York Thursday to be wined and dined by Garden chairman Jim Dolan at a Manhattan restaurant.
Andy Rautins grew up in Jamesville, N.Y.
LeBron James becomes a free agent on Thursday and the Knicks are wasting no time in courting the King.
Brian Windhorst of The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the Knicks are planning “an elaborate meal and meeting with James in a high-end location in Manhattan during the afternoon and evening of July 1, which is next Thursday. The tentative plan is for Knicks management and officials to host James and his various agents and friends for a large dinner party catered by a celebrity chef.”
Citing a source, Windhorst also wrote that “the Knicks are currently scouring the city for an available high-rise condo or apartment with a great view to rent for the event, the source said.”
The Knicks have just four players signed for next season and more than $30 million in cap space.