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.
NEW YORK — In their quest to turn the Wagner basketball program around, head coach Dan Hurley and his staff have sought out some of the top available talent in the New York metropolitan area.
Hurley landed his third recruit for 2011 when Eugene McCrory, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound postgraduate power forward from Central Jersey Each One Teach Academy, verbally pledged to Wagner Thursday in the SNY studio in Manhattan.
McCrory, a former Seton Hall commit, chose Wagner over Hofstra and Northeastern in part because of his relationships with Hurley and assistant coach Luke Murray.
“I always wanted to play with coach Hurley since I was in high school,” McCrory said.
“I heard that they gave me an offer and I thought it over with my mom and my coaches and I felt Wagner was the place for me.”
McCrory is averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds at CJEOTO, the same program that produced Rutgers redshirt forward Kadeem Jack.
“I’ve worked on consistently knocking down the mid-range jump shot, taking the bigger player to the basket, finishing around the rim,” he said. “Rebounding, just bringing intensity to the game.”
Said CJEOTO head coach Ian Turnbull: “He’ll bring a very skilled player, a great young man. He’ll work hard. He understands what it takes. I think he’ll end up doing very well in their system with Danny.
“I think he’s a great get for them.”
McCrory joins 6-7 wing Mario Moody of East Orange, N.J. and 5-11 point guard Marcus Burton of Charlotte, N.C., in Wagner’s 2011 class. Hurley has one scholarship left for 2011.
“The recruiting class they have coming in next year is going to be terrific,” McCrory said. “[Hurley] is going to turn this program around. I just hope we get to the [NCAA] tournament next year and make some noise for Wagner and we become one of the best teams in the country.”
A native of Riverdale, Md., McCrory still must take the SAT but is on pace to qualify. He said his postgrad year has helped him prepare for college.
“Just prepared me on and off the court,” he said. “It made me a better player. I thought I just needed another year to develop my game. Coach Turnbull changed my game around…He has expanded my game, worked on my ball-handling at workouts and practices. That’s what I needed and that’s why I’m at Wagner.”
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.