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.
Isaiah Whitehead and JaQuan Newton, a pair of elite guards in the Class of 2014, are discussing a potential package deal with one another.
“Minnesota, USC, Syracuse [and] possibly more,” the 6-foot-3 Newton of Neumann-Goretti told SNY.tv.
“Whoever comes at us with positive words,” the 6-foot-4 Whitehead, out of Brooklyn Lincoln, added of a possible landing spot.
The two played together at the Mary Kline Classic earlier this month and have been in touch often since then.
“We play great together,” Whitehead said.
Newton’s list currently consists of Villanova, Temple, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Oregon, USC, Texas A&M, Miami and Seton Hall, Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) assistant John Mosco told SNY.tv.
“He is playing out July and then will cut list,” Mosco said.
Asked at the Mary Kline who was recruiting him the hardest, Newton gave this list, “Minnesota, Xavier, USC, Temple, Villanova,” among others.
“Minnesota’s a good school, I talk to Coach [Richard] Pitino,” Newton said. “He hit me up. He talked to me, he said he liked my game a lot and he wants me to come out there and run the show for him.”
Newton, who plays at the same high school as former Syracuse forward Rick Jackson, also said Syracuse was “trying to get back in the mix with me. I think they want to recruit me hard.”
As for Whitehead, he has listed Louisville, Syracuse, Minnesota, UCLA and St. John’s among his top schools.
“I’ll probably visit Louisville, back to Syracuse, Minnesota, I want to go out there and see what [Richard] Pitino got,” Whitehead said.
Louisville just got a commitment from 2014 guard Ja’Quan Lyle and may be a less likely landing spot now.
Minnesota, meantime, has made a concerted effort to recruit the Northeast more aggressively now with assistants Kimani Young and Dan McHale.
“Certainly, my staff has a lot of roots in New York and New Jersey,” Richard Pitino told SNY.tv earlier this month, speaking generally. “Certainly there’s great players there and we want to try and be involved with as many guys as possible from there. There’s great basketball, there’s great coaching there. And those guys just compete on the big stage and there’s no bigger stage than the Big Ten so it’s important for us to do.”
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.