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.
A slew of high-major coaches flocked to see Rashad Vaughn this weekend at the Nike EYBL stop in Los Angeles.
Playing for Wisconsin Playground Elite against ICP Elite, Vaughn went for 31 points in 26 minutes on 13-for-20 shooting while adding seven assists and five rebounds. He made four 3-pointers. (Here’s the boxscore.)
“He was the best player there,” one high-major assistant told SNY.tv. “He’s 6-5, shoots the hell out of it, is athletic and unselfish.”
“I feel I played really good,” Vaughn, the Rivals No. 6 player in the Class of 2014 out of Robbinsdale (MN) Cooper, told SNY.tv by phone. “We won, we went 3-1, my team played good, so overall it was a good weekend.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina coach Roy Williams, Kansas coach Bill Self, Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg,Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, Michigan coach John Beilein, Baylor coach Scott Drew, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin,Oregon coach Dana Altman, Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton, Florida assistant Rashon Burno, Maryland assistant Bino Ranson, Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts and Georgetown assistant Kevin Broadus were among those watching Vaughn.
“I saw a couple,” Vaughn said. “I saw Coach Roy Williams. I saw Coach K. Yeah, there was a lot of coaches there. I don’t really pay attention to them, but it’s good to see all of them there.”
Pitino has made Vaughn a priority at Minnesota and attended every one of his games with assistant Kimani Young after Vaughn recently visited the campus and met the new staff.
Vaughn recently said he planned to cut his list, but has not done so yet.
“Yeah, I don’t really have a deadline but I’m still working on it,” Vaughn said. “Everybody’s showing love, really.”
Vaughn heads to the Boo Williams EYBL stop in Virginia next weekend and said his ultimate goal this summer is to qualify for the Peach Jam.
“Go to Peach Jam, play in Peach Jam,” he said.
Pete Kaffey, the assistant coach who is helping Vaughn with his recruitment, projects that Vaughn will ultimately be the No. 1 player in his class, which would mean overtaking guys like Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Trey Lyles.
Vaughn said that’s “not really” a goal of his, but added, “Might as well shoot for it.”
Kaffey said Vaughn continues to improve all aspects of his game and showed an ability to play the point this weekend.
“He did a good job of running the point guard position, got a lot of people involved,” he said.
“The first couple games, he was playing the two guard position but when he switched over to the one, his teammates were having more success at scoring and he was making more plays for them.
“So he played well overall, man. I was very impressed with his defense. He matched up with [Emmanuel] Mudiay, he did a pretty good job. He matched up against other top players, Ahmed Hill, those guys, did a pretty good job.
“I thought he played great defense. I think he’ll be one of the best players in the country if he plays great defense.”
Vaughn often gets up at 5 a.m. to go to they gym and Kaffey said his hard work is beginning to pay off.
“It just confirms the fact that he’s a hard worker and that the sky’s the limit for him,” Kaffey said.
College coaches aren’t allowed to speak to Vaughn, but Kaffey said he heard more than one high-major coach walk by the bench and say one simple word: “Pro.”
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.