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.
Karl Towns drew a Who’s Who of college coaches to his workout Thursday night at St. Joe’s-Metuchen High School.
Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, Kansas assistant Joe Dooley and Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski headlined a group of coaches that also included scouts from Seton Hall, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Stanford and Northwestern.
Because Towns’ mother, Jackie, spent part of the workout talking to Antigua, one coach at the workout told SNY.tv, “He’s going to Kentucky.”
The 6-foot-11 Towns is only a rising sophomore and still a long way from making a decision, but there’s no doubt Kentucky, which offered him a scholarship earlier this month, stands in a unique position with him.
Wildcats coach John Calipari and Antigua coached him all summer with the Dominican Republic National Team that played an exhibition against Team USA in Las Vegas.
While Towns may ultimately end up at Kentucky in 2015, he’s still going through the process right now.
He plans on visiting Florida in October and will attend a football game. He is also interested in visiting Michigan soon but has no date confirmed.
“All these offers are just a testament to the hard work my father and I have put in at the gym.” Towns said.
West Virginia, which has been on Towns, recently hired his relative, former Mounties star Da’Sean Butler, as a graduate assistant. Towns was surprised at the news but said,“This shows West Virginia really loves their players and is interested in keeping them around after they graduate.”
Towns is also cousins with St. Joe’s teammate, Wade Baldwin, a 2014 shooting guard who contributes a player’s blog to ZAGSBLOG.
Could Towns and Baldwin end up in a package deal?
“I don’t know, man,” was Baldwin’s first reaction when the question was brought to him. “I mean Karl’s getting looked at by the big dogs. I’m not quite sure I’m ready for those schools yet. But I’ve been playing basketball with Karl since I was ten years old so why break the streak?”
Baldwin currently holds offers from Northwestern, UMass, Boston University, Seton Hall, Rice, Temple, Stanford and a few others while drawing interest from a slew of other schools.
Northwestern coaches Bill Carmody and Fred Hill watched Baldwin Thursday, as did Seton Hall coaches Shaheen Holloway and Dan McHale, Cincinnatiassistant Darren Savino and Stanford assistant Mike Schrage.
While some believed that Baldwin had transferred to St. Joe’s to better prepare himself for Northwestern should he commit, Baldwin denied those rumors, saying he came to the Metuchen school to better prepare himself academically overall.
Baldwin is still very interested in the Wildcats, especially since Gill St. Bernard’s point guard Jaren Sina committed.
“I’ve known Jaren Sina for a while,” Baldwin said. “He’s a great player and very unselfish; it would be cool to play with him.”
One school showing Baldwin a lot of interest that has yet of offer is Notre Dame, which plans to bolt the Big East for the ACC.
Baldwin sees it as a smart move for the Irish, saying, “It’s huge. The ACC is going to be absolutely incredible. They’re bringing in some great teams and the competition is going to be as well.”
While many have said that the Big East is going downhill as a conference the 6-3 junior still holds the conference in high regard.
“They still have Louisville, Georgetown, Marquette, and some other good schools,” he said. “They’re still competitive to me.”
Baldwin has no plans of committing or cutting his list anytime soon but plans on visiting Northwestern Oct. 20 for a football game but may have to cancel to study for the SATs.
Baldwin also plans on visiting Georgia Tech, Stanford, Miami, and Cincinnati before his junior year is over.
So, does Towns think there’s any chance of a package with his cousin?
“Wade Baldwin is a very talented basketball player and at the end of the day if he and I end up at the same school that would be wonderful to go to college with my cousin,” he said. “But both of us are going to pick the best school for ourselves and let’s see if that turns into a story.”
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.