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.
John Calipari always has a nitch for finding some of the best young talent. The Kentucky head coach did it again Thursday when he found his latest two recruits.
2013 6-foot-10 center Nerlens Noel (pictured courtesy Boston Herald) and 2014 6-foot-4 small forward Wayne Selden are both teammates at Tilton, a small private school in New Hampshire. With a team that features more than seven or eight potential high major players, Calipari has his work cut out for him as he went to watch workouts.
About an hour after the practice ended, Selden notified me by text, “Calipari just watched our scrimmage and he offered.” The same situation went for Noel, a top five player in his class.
“It feels nice to be offered by anyone, so this is just a pleasure,” said Selden, a Boston native. “I think Kentucky is a nice school and they have had some real good players come out of there in recent years.”
A 2014 star, Selden has already attracted some big schools.
“I’ve got offers from UConn, Pittsburgh and Boston College,” he stated. “I don’t have any favorites just yet, I have a few more years of high school left.”
The forward who attacks the rim at will aspires to go to the NBA and Calipari is the perfect coach for that.
“Kentucky has done it for players like John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and a few others, but I’m nowhere near that level yet.”
As for Noel, the star center was originally a member of the 2012 class until an injury made him sit out for a long period of time last year. After coming to a decision to reclassify, the big inside presence has become a hot commodity and is hearing from schools like Syracuse, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas and UConn.
“Kentucky is a good school,” he stated. “They have pros that go in and out and are consistently running with a deep team in the tournament. I’m very appreciative and humble about the scholarship offer and will keep working.”
The Tilton team has a number of players from the famous BABC, Boston Amateur Basketball Club, AAU team. They also feature up and coming 2012 forward Georges Niang, Rhode Island commit Dominique Bull and Goodluck Okonoboh.RECRUITING RUNDOWNDominic Hoffman, a 6-foot-7 forward out of Gill St. Bernard in New Jersey made his verbal commitment to Bucknell Thursday night after taking an unofficial visit. “Just walking around campus today and hanging out with the team, and then playing a few pickup games with them really put it over the top for me,” he said of the Bison. “The coaches are great.” He chose Bucknell over Lafayette, Penn and Rider, among others.
Former Oklahoma commit Richard Peters of Westwind Prep in Arizona, who decommitted last Sunday, has been contacted by a number of schools regarding his recruitment. According to him, “Davidson, Alabama, Minnesota, Seton Hall, Georgia, Louisiana Tech, Marquette, Washington, Washington State and Indiana” have all expressed interest. Coaches from Georgia, Marquette, Indiana, Arizona, Auburn, Washington and Washington State, including Ken Bone and Lorenzo Romar, will attend a Friday workout at Westwind.
New Missouri head coach Frank Haith is on the recruiting trail once again. This time, he was watching 2011 shooting guard Tony Kimbro of Jeffersontown in Kentucky. Kimbro, once considered a strong lock to Marquette, chose to remain open.
St. Patrick senior shooting guard Chris Martin plans to visit VCU and UAB within the next two weeks.
Tennessee, Providence, South Carolina and Dayton are the latest schools to express interest in 2011 Brewster (NH) guard Eli Carter, according to his coach Jason Smith.
Oklahoma State is now involved with 6-8 NIA Prep forward Ryan Rhoomes, and Rutgers is back in the mix for 6-5 NIA wing Kelvin Amayo. New Towson coach Pat Skerry was at NIA Thursday, and offered Amayo and 6-5 SG Deon Maddox.
Here is a list of some notable weekend visitors:
2011 forward Dominique McKoy and South Carolina transfer Ramon Galloway will be visiting La Salle.
La Salle transfer Aaric Murray will be visiting Oklahoma State.
2011 guard Tyler Hubbard will take an official visit Loyola.
2011 forward Casey Carroll is already on an official visit to Drexel.
2011 forward Otto Porter will take an official visit to Georgetown.
2011 guard DaVonte Beard is on an official visit to Siena.
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.