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.
Thon Maker Visits Kansas & Mizzou; Duke, Arizona, UCLA, Kentucky, Indiana Up Later This Summer
Thon Maker, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2016, took two college visits this week and has several more tentatively planned for later this summer, his guardian tells SNY.tv.
Maker, who will decide by January whether or not to reclass to 2015, tripped to Kansas on Monday and Missouri on Tuesday.
He will head to Duke on Monday, and then visit Arizona and UCLA after the adidas Nations event on the West Coast in August. Ed Smith, Maker’s guardian, said trips to Kentucky and Indiana are also in the works.
As for the Kansas visit, Smith said, “It was a very good visit overall. We had a chance to meet the staff and get an idea of how Coach [Bill] Self would use Thon, similar to Markieff and Marcus Morris. It would be similar to that. He would move him around in offensive sets, but defensively there’s a lot of things he could do with him also.”
Maker also met with the weight and strength and conditioning coaches.
“It was a chance for Thon to get a feel for this process,” Smith said.
Kansas products Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid went first and third in the NBA Draft, and that wasn’t lost on Maker and Smith.
“I don’t get ahead of myself with the draft because the draft is need-based,” Smith said.
“You look at it from your opportunity to have a significant impact on the situation, I think that’s the most important thing,” he said. “And also is the coach confident enough to make you become better.”
As for Mizzou, Smith has known assistant Tim Fuller for a long time.
“I’ve known Tim Fuller since the Fairfield days with Ed Cooley, and he was raving about his new coach [Kim Anderson] in terms of how fundamentally sound he is with the kids and he thought the situation with Missouri moving to the SEC, that Thon could create his own legacy,” Smith said.
“Do you go somewhere and create your own legacy?
“So I had a chance to see their campus and see their practice facility. They’re a young team, working on a lot of fundamentals and trying to get better and catch up with Kim. He’s a Missouri guy and he’s going to get a lot of support from the community and their backing of the program.
“So it was a chance to see two different levels, a program [Kansas] that is one of the top programs in all of collegiate basketball and to see another program which is building and trying to do something special.
“It just gives Thon two perspectives to look at.”
Next up is Duke on Monday and then later in the summer UCLA and Arizona, and also Indiana and Kentucky.
As first reported by SNY.tv, Maker recently added a Kentucky offer. He also holds offers from Duke, Louisville, Missouri, Memphis and others.
“When I’m in the area, I try to give him the experience of seeing some of these schools,” Smith said. “We will see UCLA and Arizona after the adidas Nations event. Indiana and Kentucky will be on our list also to see.”
Photo: Toronto Star
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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.