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.
In Battle of Future Duke Teammates, Okafor Comes Out on Top
In a battle of future Duke teammates, Jahlil Okafor emerged with bragging rights.
The 6-foot-10 Okafor went for 22 points and 15 rebounds as Chicago Whitney Young beat Tyus Jones and Apple Valley (MN), 80-70, on ESPN2. The game was played at Apple Valley.
Jones scored 25 of his 29 points in the second half and added 5 assists and 4 steals in the loss. He went 8-of-9 from the line.
“It was fun,” Okafor told the Pioneer Press. “The goal is to win. I didn’t want to come out here and lose and then travel back to Chicago. We got the ‘W.’ I am happy about that.”
The loss snapped a 35-game winning streak for Apple Valley dating to December 2012.
“It was extremely fun,” Jones told the Press. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. The fans were great.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistant Jeff Capel sat courtside watching as Okafor and Jones went back-and-forth during one second-half stretch, with Okafor slamming home two dunks on assists from Georgetown-bound forward Paul White, and Jones answering on the other end with two deep 3-pointers. On one of them, he was fouled and made a 4-point play.
“Those two are going to be a treat next year,” Apple Valley coach Zach Goring told the Press. “They are perfect for each other. The neat thing about all of this (is) the people that were here can say they watched Tyus (and) they watched Jahlil.”
Jones and Okafor last month committed to Duke at the same time, and were later joined by Houston St. John’s wing Justise Winslow to form the No. 1 recruiting class in 2014.
Along with incoming shooter Grayson Allen and Duke’s returning core, Duke figures to be the preseason No. 1 in 2014.
In other Duke news, assistant Nate James will watch 2015 Iona Prep / New Heights small forward Matt Ryan on Saturday.
Photo: Pioneer Press
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.