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.
Xavier Working Hard on Kyle Anderson; Chandler Visiting UCF; Villa Holiday Classic
By ADAM ZAGORIA & ALEX KLINE
There is no leader in the clubhouse just yet for Kyle Anderson, but Xavier may be outworking everyone else for the 6-foot-8 junior point guard from St. Anthony.
Xavier assistant Rasheen Davis flew in to watch Anderson play two games in Newton, Mass. Wednesday-Thursday.
He did so even though he had to leave at 4:30 a.m. Friday for a 6 a.m. flight and a two-hour layover at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in order to get back for a 4 p.m. game with Florida.
His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
“Coach [Chris] Mack and Davis have done a very good job of keeping in touch with both Lil Kyle and me,” Kyle Anderson Sr. said. “This shows how much they would enjoy having him as a student-athlete at Xavier.”
UMass assistant Antwon Jackson also attended the game.
Anderson, who has taken unofficials to both Xavier and UMass, put up 12 points, eight rebounds, three steals and a block as the unbeaten Friars (5-0) pounded Newton North, 77-33, to win the Garden City Classic tournament Thursday.
**Rutgers-bound point guard Myles Mack had 14 points and three boards in the final.
**Jimmy Hall, a 6-6 junior, scored a team-best 17 points and grabbed six rebounds.
**Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley has now won 989 games, 11 shy of 1,000.
“If I win 1,000 games, I’m still coaching for awhile, so that’s just a number,” Hurley, 63, told ESPNBoston.com. “One week later, I’ll be happy or sad about something that my team is doing. Regardless of how many wins, things won’t change.”
**St. Anthony will be back in action against Plainfield Sunday in Jimmy Salmon’s New Year’s Jump-Off at Teaneck High.
CHANDLER VISITING UCFMichael Chandler, a 6-10 unsigned senior center rom Lawrence (IN) North High School, is on an unofficial to Central Florida until Jan. 1.
“I love my UCF visit,” he tweeted.
Scout.com first reported it.
Chandler has decommitted from both Louisville and Xavier.
“He’s got to get a higher test score,” Jack Keefer, his high school coach, said recently. “If he can get that done, he’ll be fine.”
**Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon and assistant Pat Skerry were on hand to watch games at the Jameer Nelson Classic in Philadelphia. As the two saw future Panthers Malcolm Gilbert of the Academy of the New Church and John Johnson of Life Center Academy, they also watched some potential prospects.
Dixon and Skerry watched Chris Thomas ‘13 of Princeton Day Academy (MD), Andre Horne ‘12 of Life Center (NJ) and Amile Jefferson ’12 of Friends’ Central (PA).
Jefferson, a 6-7 power forward, put on a show as he put up 28 points and 21 rebounds in a blowout win over Life Center, according to Steve Keller of the National Recruiting Report. Jefferson is considered to be one of the main priorities for Pittsburgh in the 2012 class, along with Christ the King (NY) shooting guard Omar Calhoun.
Jefferson said his early list includes Villanova, Syracuse, Miami, Temple, North Carolina, Georgetown, Duke and Pittsburgh.
“Right now I’m pretty open,” he said by text.
Calhoun has offers from Pitt, Villanova, Louisville, St. John’s, West Virginia, Miami, Virginia, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Arizona and Vanderbilt. He’s also receiving interest from Notre Dame, Georgetown, Kansas, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Kentucky and LSU, as well as North Carolina.
**Eric Fanning, a 6-4 junior forward from Perkiomen (PA), took an unofficial visit on Wednesday morning to Drexel. Fanning has a good connection to the program as his former AAU teammates with NJABC are either playing for or will play for Bruiser Flint’s squad. Starting point guard Frantz Massenat and 2011 signee Kazembe Abif have both played alongside Fanning, a Trenton native, for a number of years.
“I loved it,” he said of the visit. “Drexel has a great coaching staff. Coach Bru is a great teacher. They also have a very nice gym.”
SUNDAY (JAN. 2) — 4TH ANNUAL VILLA HOLIDAY CLASSIC AT THE PALESTRA
BISHOP LOUGHLIN – DOBBINS 12:00
IMHOTEP – BOYS AND GIRLS NY 1:45
PENN WOOD – RICE 3:45
NEUMANN – CHRIST THE KING NY 5:45
**Both Imhotep and Boys & Girls game are defending Public League champions for their respective cities. There are at least 8 future Division 1 basketball players playing in this game. Both teams are nationally ranked
**The Penn Wood-Rice game features a battle between two future Big East small forwards—Rice’s Jermaine Sanders (Cincinnati)and Penn Wood’sAaron Brown(West Virginia).
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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.