Hilliard to Villanova; Dawson to MSU; Allen to Hofstra | Zagsblog
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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.
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Saturday / June 15.
  • Hilliard to Villanova; Dawson to MSU; Allen to Hofstra

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    Darrun Hilliard, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Liberty (Pa.) High, is headed to Villanova beginning in 2011.

    Hilliard chose the Wildcats over Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Iowa, Michigan and Boston College.

    “I loved how they treated each other,” Hilliard said by text. “It’s like a big family up there, a home away from home and I really loved that their tradition is also great. I will have a great career after graduation from Villanova either on or off the court.”

    Hilliard averaged 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists last season while leading the Hurricanes to their first appearance in the Pennsylvania Class 4A semifinals.

    “I’m real versatile so anything Coach [Jay] Wright wants me to do, anything to win,” he said. “I just want to come in and work hard and make everyone better and earn everything I get.”

    Added Liberty assistant Mike Bachman: “Darrun brings versatility and a winner’s attitude. He does everything well — handles the ball, shoots, passes, rebounds and defends the 1 through the 3.  He will do whatever it takes to win — take a charge, get on the floor for a loose ball. Anything to help the team.”

    Hilliard joins Montrose Christian (Md.) point guard Tyrone Johnson, Long Island Lutheran shooting guard Achraf Yacoubou and Brewster (N.H.) Academy center Markus Kennedy in Villanova’s 2011 class.


    Branden Dawson, a 6-6 small forward from Gary, Ind., Lew Wallace, committed to Michigan State Wednesday, as first reported by Alex Kline at The Recruit Scoop.

    The No. 7 small forward in the Class of 2011, Dawson chose the Spartans over Indiana, Marquette, Purdue, UCLA and Georgetown.

    “Yeah, I’m going to Michigan State,” he told Kline. “Michigan State is a great program; they have a great academic program.It’s also not to far from home and the coaching staff is unbelievable.”

    Dawson joins Brandon Kearney and Dwaun Anderson in Sparty’s 2011 recruiting haul.


    Hofstra coach Mo Cassara picked up his first 2011 commitment from 6-6, 191-pound small forward Jordan Allen of Bay Shore (N.Y.) High.

    Allen chose Hofstra over George Mason, Wagner and Towson.

    “I chose Hofstra because I felt comfortable with the staff and its location, the reputation of the school and the direction of the program,” he said by text. “As far as what I can bring to the table, I’m going to bring my defense. A lot of people my age don’t like to play defense so that’s why they say the game of basketball is getting softer.

    “I’m a hard-nosed player that’s not afraid to leave it out on the court and I think my athleticism and my high-flying around the rim will keep the Hofstra fans excited.

    “I’m very happy with my choice. I want to thank Gary Charles for everything. He’s my guy.”

    “He will do all the right things to help a team win,” said Charles, the New York Panthers coach. “Whether it’s getting the rebound , making the right pass or making a defensive stop, Jordan is your man.”

    (Photos courtesy Lehigh Valley Live, Rivals.com)

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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.

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