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.
Rick Pitino is sufficiently impressed with Kentucky’s historic recruiting class, but isn’t certain if the Wildcats should be the preseason No. 1.
“Best recruiting class in 20 years,” the Louisville coach told SNY.tv by text. “As far as No. 1, I’m not sure.”
Louisville, which is loaded with returning players, and Kentucky, which is stacked with talented frosh and a few key returnees, could end up battling for the national championship. Kentucky won it all in 2012, and Louisville won the title in 2013.
Kentucky’s roster includes four players projected as first-round picks in the 2014 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, and three others picked as first-rounders in 2015.
Dikembe Dixson doesn’t have a single college scholarship offer yet, but his high school coach says the 6-foot-7 2015 small forward could be special.
“He could be a pro one day,” Jim Youngman, the head coach at Bardstown (Ky.) Thomas Nelson High School who previously coached at Andre Iguodala’s high school, told SNY.tv Wednesday. “You hate to say that because you don’t want a kid to get too complacent or think he’s arrived because there’s a lot of work to do there.”
An Illinois native who played last year at Ashland (Ky.) Paul Blazer, Dixson has been blowing up recently, including an impressive performance at the recent John Lucas Midwest Invitational that inspired several articles from recruiting services.
“I just got back from the John Lucas camp and I did really well there,” Dixson told SNY.tv.
On the same night he had an in-home visit with Michigan head coach John Beilein, Kameron Chatman pulled the trigger for the Wolverines.
“its been a long Receuiting Process but im proud to say i will be a Michigan Wolverine next Year #GoBlue,” he Tweeted.
“I just felt most comfortable with their staff and how they play,” he told SNY.tv by text.
Chatman, a 6-foot-7 left-hander from Portland (Ore.) Columbia Christian, also considered Arizona, Oregon and USC.
“We like Michigan,” Chatman’s father, Canaan Chatman, who played at Oregon State, told SNY.tv this summer. “I’ve known Coach Beilien and he’s known me since I was playing. Obviously, on the year that they had you gotta pay attention to that.
“They’re trying to lock down some national recruits and we definitely like Michigan.”
The 6-foot-11, 275-pound Northwest Florida State big man picked K-State over Wichita State Tuesday night. He will have two years of Division 1 eligibility remaining beginning in 2014.
“I just felt most comfortable with Kansas State,” Hurt, who averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds last season, told SNY.tv. “I really liked Wichita State. I liked the coaching staff. I just felt more comfortable going with Kansas State.”
Steve Forbes, Hurt’s former coach at Northwest Florida, is now an assistant at Wichita State.
Hurt said he made up his mind “early this week. Just sat back and contemplated everything, really knew I most likely was going to Kansas State, made sure I was completely comfortable with the decision.”
Hurt said head coach Bruce Weber and his staff told him he would play an integral role.
Duke’s dream of landing the trifecta of Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow might take a step closer to reality after all three visit the campus the weekend of Oct. 25.
Various reports indicate that Winslow will join Jones and Okafor on their official visit that weekend.
“With Justise’s choices, he can’t make a bad choice so we approach our visits more on the comfort level,” Robin Davis, Winslow’s mother, recently told SNY.tv. “I look at it as basketball is going to take care of itself….But are you going to take care of my son? It’s more of a comfort that way for me. That’s where our visits are now, because how many times can you tell me this is where you’re going to play him?