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.
St. John’s landed a player from the Playaz Basketball Club on Saturday.
His name is Darrick Wood, not Kyle Anderson.
But the move can’t hurt the Johnnies in the Kyle Anderson Sweepstakes.
The 6-foot-4 shooting guard verbally committed to the Red Storm Saturday after his unofficial visit.
“Yes, sir,” Wood, a Washington, D.C. native, told Alex Kline of The Recruit Scoop. “It was the perfect fit for me. Tough, real hardcore basketball. Just the way I like to play.”
Wood chose the Johnnies over USC, Virginia Tech, South Florida and Oklahoma State.
Playaz director Jimmy Salmon said Wood’s summer helped put him over the top. He put up 18 of his 25 points in the second half, including five 3-pointers, of the championship game of the Desert Duel against Mac Irvin Fire.
“The month of July convinced Division 1 coaches that Darrick Wood was a high-major player,” Salmon said by phone.
Added Kyle Anderson Sr., head coach of the Playaz 17s: “Darrick played like a Big East player in July. He showed his athleticism and shooting ability. He was a big reason the team won the Desert Duel. I think he will fit in well with Coach Lavin’s offensive and defensive schemes.”
Wood currently attends Newark NIA Prep, which, as was first reported Thursday by SNY.tv, recently was told by the NCAA that four incoming college basketball players are not eligible to play this year. All four players are appealing the decision.
NIA Prep coach Rudy King said Wood has the potential to do great things.
“Wood has the ability to be a stud,” he said. “He needs to get in the weight room, work on his handle to create more offensive opportunities for himself in the halfcourt set and really stay committed on the defensive end he can be a pro.
“I told Jimmy seven months ago he reminded me of Wayne Ellington.”
Wood is the second 2012 commit for head coach Steve Lavin, following 6-8 Louisiana forward Ricardo Gathers.
The 6-8 Anderson is due to announce Sept. 20 from among St. John’s, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Florida and UCLA.
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.