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.
Daniels Enjoys UK Visit; Memphis’ Garcia Going Pro (UPDATED)
DeAndre Daniels visited Kentucky this weekend and according to Dinos Trigonis, Daniels’ former AAU coach with the Belmont Shore, the visit went well.
“DeAndre did go to Kentucky and was there for the Indiana-Kentucky basketball game,” Trigonis said. “The kid went to Kentucky alone this weekend. From what he told me today [Sunday], he had a nice visit.”
Trigonis said Laron Daniels, DeAndre’s father, did not attend the visit and an Internet quote attributed to Laron (and briefly used on this site) was inaccurate.
Trigonis said he believes two or three schools lead for the 6-foot-9, 197-pound Daniels, who transferred from Woodland Hills (Calif) Taft to IMG Academies before this season.
“The teams that have the best chance of getting him right now are Kansas, Texas and maybe Kentucky,” Trigonis said. “Those three schools are probably the leaders in my mind.”
Daniels recently took officials to Kansas and Oregon and had previously taken unofficials to UCLA and Florida.
Trigonis said Daniels was also planning an upcoming visit to Texas, perhaps within the next week.
“He’s going to visit Texas I would say within the next seven to 10 days,” Trigonis said. “He may have one more visit [after that].”
Trigonis said Daniels planned to enroll in college in January but would not suit up until the fall.
“He’s not going to play this year,” he said. “He’s going somewhere with the purpose of sitting out the second semester, working out with the team and getting adjusted academically,” he said. “He’ll be a freshman in the fall of 2011.”
We hope to have more on this story in the coming days.
MEMPHIS’ GARCIA GOING PRO; PASTNER SHUFFLES ROSTERMemphis junior Angel Garcia plans to sign a professional contract to play in Spain at the conclusion of this semester and begins play overseas immediately, head coach Josh Pastner announced Sunday evening. Before he leaves, the 6-foot-11 forward will finish his 2010 fall semester final exams.
“This is and was a very difficult decision for me,” said Garcia. “Memphis has been my home the past three years, and I love the city, my teammates and coaches. However, I received an opportunity that can help my family financially, and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. “I love all the Tiger fans and appreciate all their support during my time here, and hope they continue to support me in my pro career. I bleed blue, and I will always follow the Tigers.” Garcia played in all eight games this season and averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds. He was shooting 35.1 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from the three-point arc and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. “Angel is a sweetheart of a person and a terrific basketball player,” said Pastner. “We fully support Angel in his decision to play professional basketball in Spain, and will continue to follow his career. “Angel is a true gentleman, and he will always be a Tiger. We wish him all the best and happiness as he pursues his basketball career at the professional level.” The Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, native sat out his first season in 2008-09 at Memphis as a result of NCAA Clearinghouse issues. Entering his sophomore campaign in 2009-10, the coaching staff was counting on Garcia to play a huge role for the Tigers, but suffered a right ACL injury in preseason individual workouts in early September of 2009. After an accelerated rehab, Garcia returned to the court in early February of 2010 and played in 12 games. He averaged 6.8 points and 1.2 rebounds, while shooting 52.6 percent from the floor, 41.4 percent from the three-point arc and 75 percent from the free throw line.
With Wesley Witherspoon’s surgery and Garcia’s decision to play pro, Pastner decided Sunday evening to take the redshirt off freshman Hippolyte Tsafack. The 6-foot-8 forward played in the Tigers’ two exhibitions, but had not seen action in the regular season. “Hipp will be dressed and ready to play Thursday versus Austin Peay, and he’s excited about the opportunity,” said Pastner. “When we made the decision to redshirt Hipp, it was mainly because of a numbers game and not finding enough minutes for him. At that time, I didn’t want him to waste a year with very limited playing time. However, as in most seasons with many teams, plans change, and that’s what happened with us. “Hipp has continued to work hard in practice, and before home games, he’s usually the first one on the court at the arena working on his game. It may take him a couple of games to get back in the flow of things, but we’re looking for him to give us some help on the frontline.” Tsafack played in both of the Tigers’ exhibition contests this season. Against LeMoyne-Owen, he came off the bench and played 11 minutes, scoring two points and pulling down five boards against the Magicians. In the second exhibition versus Christian Brothers, the Yaounde, Cameroon, native played eight minutes and had three points and two rebounds.HURLEYS LAND 2012 BIG MANMike Aaman, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound junior forward from Raritan (NJ) High, verbally committed to Wagner and head coach Dan Hurley Sunday night.
“The coaching staff. You won’t find much better between the Hurleys and they know people,” said Aaman, who averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds last season. “They’re going to extend my game the most and get me to the next level. I’m not saying the NBA, but maybe Europe. I feel no one else can do that besides them.”
He’s averaging 26.5 points and more than 18 boards in four scrimmages this preseason.
“Right now I’m playing really well,” said Aaman, who also considered St. Francis (Pa.) and New Hampshire.
Aaman can sign a Letter of Intent in November.
FREE THROWSDajuan Willams, a 6-8 wing forward from Hill College in Texas who’s originally from N.J., will visit Iona unofficially Dec. 22.
Photo courtesy IMG)
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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.