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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.
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Monday / July 22.
  • NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — As the No. 1 small forward and one of the Top 5 players in the Class of 2013, Jabari Parker is used to the hype.

    But in a recent conversation with Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, he was given some mighty praise by a man who knows a thing or two about hoops.

    “He compared me to Kobe Bryant and he compared me to Grant Hill,” the 6-foot-7, 220-pound Parker said Wednesday at the Peach Jam.

    — UCLA is in the mix for several elite point guards in the Class of 2012, and they may end up getting a California native to run the show.

    “Yeah, they’re a favorite coming in,” Drew Gooden Soldiers point guard Dominic Artis said after he put up 16 points and 3 rebounds in his team’s 65-60 victory over Indy Spiece at the Peach Jam.

    UCLA is also here recruiting Kyle Anderson of the Playaz Basketball Club, but if the 6-foot Artis pulls the trigger for the Bruins this summer Anderson could opt to go in another direction. (Read the latest on Kyle here.)

    NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — Ricardo Gathers
    is being recruited by a half dozen high-major programs but says St. John’s is working the hardest at this point.

    “As far as just being there, I speak to them like every week,” the 6-foot-8, 235-pound Gathers said after dropping 29 points and 20 rebounds as Louisiana Select lost to Boo Williams, 89-84, in double-OT at the Peach Jam.

    “I call them, they’ll call me. I’ll call them. I’ll email them. That’s who I’ve been speaking to the most out of anybody.”

    NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — High-profile college coaches were all around the gym at the Riverview Park Activities Center for Tuesday evening’s matchup between big men Jarnell Stokes of Memphis YOMCA and DaJuan Coleman of Albany City Rocks.

    Kentucky’s John Calipari, Florida’s Billy Donovan, Memphis’ Josh Pastner, UConn’s Jim Calhoun and UCLA’s Ben Howland were among the coaches watching the battle of the big men.

    In the end, the 6-foot-8, 240-pound Stokes won the matchup, hitting a gorgeous step-back jumper over Coleman at one point and notching 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block as Memphis handed the City Rocks their second loss in as many games, 71-62.

    NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.Tony Edwards, the head coach of the North Carolina-based CP3 AAU team, had to pull aside star sophomore Theo Pinson and calm him down before the team’s first game Tuesday morning at the Peach Jam.

    “It hit him when we started playing,” Edwards said of the atmosphere surrounding the event and the number of high-profile coaches in attendance. “He was overwhelmed a little bit.”

    The 6-foot-6, 185-pound Pinson is the No. 1 ranked player in the Class of 2014 and already holds offers from the likes of Duke, North Carolina,Kentucky, N.C. State, UConn, Syracuse and Tennessee, among others.

    . — The Kyle Anderson Sweepstakes is heating up here at the Peach Jam.

    With the 6-foot-8 St. Anthony High School guard slated to announce his college choice Sept. 20, all five schools recruiting him are following him down the stretch of the summer basketball circuit.

    UCLA coach Ben Howland, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, Georgetown coach John Thompson III, Florida coach Billy Donovan and assistant Norm Roberts and St. John’s assistant Tony Chiles were all on hand as Anderson put up game-highs of 27 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 turnovers to lead the Playaz Basketball Club over The Family from Detroit, 90-82, in their first game.

    St. John’s coach Steve Lavin arrives Wednesday.

    } });