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.
Willard Live at LeBron Camp; Cosby Drops 30 in JSBL
AKRON, Ohio — Here’s a video interview I just did this morning with Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard at the LeBron James Skills Academy.
Willard discussed his general recruiting philosophy for the summer, his goals for adding players for 2012 and the addition of 6-foot-6 Georgia Tech transfer Brian Oliver.COSBY DROPS 30 IN JSBLBy JOSH NEWMANSpecial to ZAGSBLOGBELMAR, N.J.– Based on his exploits from high school, plus a prep year last season at Northfield Mount Hermon, people were already hailing incoming Seton Hall freshman combo guard Aaron Cosby as a potential heir apparent to Jeremy Hazell as a high-scoring, go-to guy. Based on the 6-foot-3 Cosby’s Verizon Fios Jersey Shore Basketball League debut on Thursday evening, all of that lofty praise seems to be fair.
A rough first half from the field (1-for-11, six points) on Thursday gave way to a tremendous second half that helped the Louisville native finish 11-for-29 from the field for a game-high 30 points as he helped power Seaview Jeep past Asbury Park Recreation, 95-83, at St. Rose High School.
More importantly than the win or the numbers, Thursday was Cosby’s first opportunity to play with several of his Pirates teammates. Sophomore swingman Fuquan Edwin and freshman guard Sean Grennan played for Seaview on Thursday, while freshman small forward Brandon Mobley (dislocated right shoulder) and sophomore forward Aaron Geramipoor (lower body injury) were unavailable.
“I love playing with these guys. They’re hard working, talented, and based on tonight, I think we’re gonna mesh well,” Cosby said. “I just want to get to know my teammates at this point, their strengths and their weaknesses. This summer is big, we’ve got a lot of new guys and we’re all just working hard.”
Hazell was a gun-slinger, a volume scorer and the go-to guy for Seton Hall, all attributes that Cosby showed off on Thursday. After taking the first half to find a rhythm as well as his legs, Cosby was fantastic. Opening the third quarter at point guard, he hit two long bombs with hands in his face to help stretch a 40-39 Seaview Jeep halftime lead to seven. Throughout the second half while still at the point, Cosby showed a willingness to shoot whenever he had a look as well as set up his teammates. He also showed an underrated first step as he got into the lane with little trouble and finished on several occasions.
At one point, he beat his defender into the lane with a spin move, squared up and rose above the defense for a 12-foot jumper plus the foul. Although he is projected as a shooting guard moving forward, it was plays like that should have people thinking he could run some point in a pinch if necessary.
Seton Hall’s future at point guard is uncertain right now. Pirates head coach Kevin Willard and his staff are working hard on 6-foot-8 St. Anthony senior Kyle Anderson as well as 6-foot-1 Bridgton Academy point guard Kareem Canty.
If Willard cannot snare either Anderson or Canty in the Class of 2012, he would be left with freshman Freddie Wilson as his No. 1 option at point guard. That is a worst case scenario, but if it does happen, Cosby seems perfectly comfortable playing the point if Willard needs him there.
“I think I have a rep of being a shooting guard just because I scored a lot of points last year, but I’m very comfortable with the ball in my hands,” Cosby said. “If I need to play point, I can. I’m ready for whatever coach [Willard] wants and coach needs.”
**Video: Kareem Canty talks about opening it up
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.