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.
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Loyola-Marymount transfer Gabe Levin set up official visits to Marquette, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech—in that order.
In his freshman year at LMU, the 6-foot-7 Levin averaged 11.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and earned WCC All-Freshman team honors.
When the school fired head coach Max Good, he opted to transfer and received obvious high major interest.
“I don’t think a new environment will hurt me,” Levin said. “When you go into an unfamiliar place, you have to perform that much better.” Levin said the transfer year would give him an opportunity to refine his game, but past performance already hinted at what he could bring each school.
His process began with simple criteria. All of the involved schools, he said, have good enough academics and important alumni connections for life after basketball.
Then, there was the most important quality: “All of them are stable. They’re pretty young players’ coaches who can build great relationships with you.”
That said, the four finalists for his commitment hold very different appeal for Levin, who contrasted their styles.
Marquette earned the first visit, which will take place from June Wednesday-Friday. New head coach Steve Wojciechowski can gain immediate credibility by picking up a strong transfer.
“He definitely has a plan,” Levin said. “He’s been an assistant coach at Duke and he’ll only strive. He won’t have any problems stepping right in.”
The Northwestern visit will take place shortly after, with the Wildcats thirsting for a local transfer commit. Their style would work for Levin, a power forward who can step outside
Levin praised NU for its local appeal, and geography should be a likely pitch for second-year head coach Chris Collins and his staff.
“I’ve just been talking to Collins a lot,” Levin said. “He has great assistants who know what they’re doing. They’re down to earth guys and it’s been fun to get to know them.”
Coach Mike Brey and Notre Dame, though, might have the most specific and enticing pitch. Levin will visit South Bend on June 14 with an understanding of his potential.
“Coach Brey has been in the league for 14 years, which is great, and he’s successful when he gets transfers,” Levin said. “They sent me something on transfers and how successful they are after their year of redshirting. That’s very intriguing.”
Though Georgia Tech might lack in terms of geography and reputation, Brian Gregory presented some unique qualities—making them a potential underdog in his recruitment. Levin will set an exact visit time with them soon.
“I like [Gregory] a lot,” Levin said. “What stood out is that he was always trying to break down my game. It’s not just blowing smoke that you get sometimes with recruiting. He’s got a nice plan.”
A coveted recruit, for obvious reasons, Levin will be among the most important current transfers to watch this month.
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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.