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.
Tyus Battle isn’t the only big-time recruit coming to Saturday’s Duke-Syracuse tilt at the Carrier Dome.
Moustapha Diagne, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound 2015 power forward from Sparta (N.J.) Pope John, will also be on hand.
“He is very excited,” Pope John coach Jason Hasson, who will make the trip with Diagne, told SNY.tv. “It is going to be a great weekend with a huge basketball game any basketball fan would be excited to see.
“He has been to Syracuse three times before and likes the campus and the coaching staff. It’s an active college town that rallies to support their team. He is looking forward to speaking more directly with the coaching staff about academics and how Syracuse sets itself apart from other schools. He knows what the Syracuse basketball is all about because he watches a lot of games but we know there is more to a college choice than basketball alone. This visit is about looking at the other aspects needed to make a good decision.”
Diagne is the type of long, athletic forward that could fit in very well in the Syracuse zone should he opt to go there.
Recently, he has been on a tear.
“He has been playing extremely well these last three weeks,” Hasson said. “In the last six games he is averaging 24 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. And in those six games we played Our Savior New American (No. 9 in USA Today), Cardinal Hayes (No. 1 MSG Varsity at the time – Undefeated), Mt Olive (No. 1-ranked in Morris County on a 10-game win streak), Blair Academy (No. 1-ranked Prep in NJ), and two league games.
Hasson added: “His recent uptick in production can be be attributed to his work ethic. He is in the gym before and after practice on the weekends getting extra shots and working on his ball handling and he is lifting 2-3 times a week on his own with our strength coach.
“He is doing a little bit of everything offensively. He can shoot jump hooks with either hand, he can catch it at the elbow and make 15-foot shots or make one or two dribble moves to go by his defender, and he has begun adding a 3-point shot to his game as noted by the two that he made in our game on Sunday. His extra work on the court allows him to add more and more dimensions to his game all the time. We even have him handling the ball coming off ball screens in our offense sometimes now.”
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.