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.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is still enjoying residual recruiting benefits after leading Team USA to the gold medal in London.
Sure, Coach K wasn’t on the July recruiting trail following players like 6-foot-9 forward Marcus Lee of Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley, but every time he texts Duke targets like Lee, Julius Randle and Austin Nichols he can mention that he just spoke with Kobe, LeBron, KD or Melo.
“He was saying on Sunday that he was talking to me two minutes after [talking to] Kobe,” Lee said from the Elite 24 game in Venice Beach, Calif. “And then he started talking about me while he was talking to Kobe. It was great.”
How does that make you feel, Marcus?
“That was great,” he said. “I was like, ‘Man, talking to somebody that’s talking to somebody is pretty cool.'”
Lee first mentioned this phenomenon with Coach K during the Nike Global Challenge in July.
Lee has since cut his list to seven schools: Duke, Cal, UCLA, Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana and Kansas.
He has set several visits, including Louisville (Sept. 8), Kentucky (Oct. 12 for Big Blue Madness), Indiana (Oct. 20) and Duke (Oct. 27-28). He recently took unofficials to Cal and UCLA.
Lee said all the coaches on his list remain in touch.
“I talked to every coach the past week,” he said.
“I talked to UCLA right before they went to China,” Lee said of Bruins coach Ben Howland. “I thought that was the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. They go to China every four years, so I thought that was a little crazy.”
Kentucky has also been in touch.
“I texted Cal [Wednesday] and we were just talking how they were doing and what they were doing, and they were doing very well,” Lee said.
He’s also been in touch with Indiana coach Tom Crean.
“I talked to Coach Crean last Friday,” he said.
Basically, Lee said he’s looking to take his visits and go from there.
As for the game, “I’m just trying to prove that I’m supposed to be here. I haven’t proved anything yet. I’m trying to prove that I’m actually supposed to be here and I’m not just an extra.”
Former Pittsburgh guard Isiah Epps of Plainfield, N.J., will attend Monroe College, a junior college in New Rochelle, N.Y. The news was first reported by Jay Gomes of NJHoops.com…Texas is now showing interest in 2014 Chris McCullough, Terry Larrier and 2015 Thomas Bryant, per their Team Scan AAU coach, Terrance “Munch” Williams….Xavier Rathan-Mayes will cut his list to five today, with Florida State expected to be among the five.
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.