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.
Amile Jefferson to Visit UConn, UK; May Sign Late (UPDATED)
Amile Jefferson, the 6-foot-7, 185-pound forward out of Philadelphia Friends Central, still has nearly a dozen schools on his list and may wait until the spring signing period before making a commitment.
“Yeah, if he doesn’t feel comfortable in making a decision, then he’ll wait,” Friends Central coach Jason Polykoff told SNY.tv Wednesday.
Polykoff said Jefferson’s list currently includes Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Temple, Villanova, Stanford, UConn, Kentucky, Ohio State, N.C. State and Maryland.
He’s taken unofficials to N.C. State, Villanova, Temple and Maryland, and was on an official to Ohio State last weekend.
Jefferson plans to take an official visit to UConn this weekend for Midnight Madness, where he is expected to be joined by 2012 UConn commit Omar Calhoun, 2013s Kuran Iverson, Austin Colbert, Jaylen Brantley and Kyle Washington, 2014 Noah Vonleh and 2015 Jeremy Miller.
He is slated to visit Kentucky the weekend of Oct. 21. That is the same weekend Kentucky will host shooting guard Gary Harris.
“He’s going to try to visit a few officially, and then try to get to a few that are closer unofficially and then make a decision from there,” Polykoff said.
Villanova figures to be in the mix at the end because they’re the local power, Polykoff said.
“Yeah, I think Villanova will still be in the mix,” he said. “What other schools I don’t know….He does like ‘Nova. It doesn’t matter to him that it’s local. It has more to do with the school itself and the program.”
Jefferson, who went off for 30 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists last weekend in the Eddie Griffin Challenge, is the Rivals’ No. 12 power forward in the Class of 2012, but he hasn’t even scratched his potential yet.
“His upside is that he’s considered one of the best players in the country and he’s nowhere near his talent,” Polykoff said. “He can get stronger, he can work on his jump-shot, he can work on his ball-handling. He can always become smarter.
“The kid is an unbelievable talent and still has a ways to go as a player. He can only go up from here.”
The coach added that Jefferson hopes to decide before the season begins Nov. 13, but it may go past the early signing period.
“He doesn’t really have a timetable,” he said. “He’s been encouraged to try to make a decision before the season for a lot of obvious reasons, to get the weight off his shoulders and make it easier for him.
“If he doesn’t feel ready, he’ll wait.”
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.