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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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Thursday / December 1.
  • Derrick Jones, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound junior wing from Archbishop Carroll (Pa.), will take an unofficial to UConn on Monday, as previously reported by SNY.tv.

    The visit has been postponed several times.

    “We’ve been trying to visit and trying to get him up there,” We R 1 coach Terrell Myers recently told  SNY.tv. “The second time Kevin Ollie had something going on with his mom and the first time Derrick missed his flight so we couldn’t get him up there. But that’s definitely a place he’s going to go visit.”

    UConn has yet to offer.

    Rhode Island on Sunday landed a verbal pledge from Leroy Butts, the 6-foot-8, 200-pound 2015 power forward who recently decommitted from Rutgers.

    “The program’s academics really caught me and my parents’ attention,” Butts said. “The basketball program fits me very well in the system coming from stretch forward to combo forward. I established a great relationship with the players and coach Dan Hurley, along with the rest of the coaching staff.

    Rhody assistant David Cox was the associate head coach at Rutgers.

    “His relationship with coach Dave Cox played a big part,” DC Premier director Damon Handon told SNY.tv. “He’s a skilled athletic combo forward. He brings toughness and a winning mentality.”

    By JOHN PAVIA

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Talented lead guard Jalen Adams picked up a scholarship offer from Louisville and head coach Rick Pitino on Saturday, as previously reported by Evan Daniels.

    A 6-foot-2 guard from Ashburnham (MA) Cushing Academy, Adams also holds offers from UConn Kansas and several other high-major schools at the moment.

    Vin Pastore, Adams’s AAU coach with Mass Rivals, told SNY.tv that he believed the three schools recruiting Adams the hardest at the moment were Kansas, UConn and Louisville. UConn offered Adams last year, but continued to recruit him aggressivley and Kansas offered him before the Spring Live period had begun.

    Kansas wingNEW YORK — Kansas coach Bill Self just produced the No. 1 and No. 3 picks in the NBA Draft in Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid.

    And that is an accomplishment he is understandably proud of.

    “It’s a great night for KU,” Self said Thursday night at the NBA Draft. “I think Kentucky obviously in 2012 had kids go 1 and 2 [Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist], but I don’t know if anybody’s had kids go 1 and 3. [UCLA in 1969 had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lucius Allen go 1 and 3]. This is one of the best nights of guys coming out that a university’s had in history. And hopefully it will defintely enhance our recruiting moving forward because I’m sure there will be a lot of publicity that goes along with this.”

    Just this week, Kansas had 7-footer Thon Maker on campus. Maker is the No. 1 player in the Class of 2016 and he may reclass to 2015, thereby making him eligible for the 2016 Draft.

    Tyus Battle and Derryck Thornton — two of the top guards in 2016 — are each pursuing their recruitment separately and will only wind up at the same school if it happens “organically,” Gary Battle told SNY.tv.

    There is no package deal.

    “Derryck Thornton is a great young player who Tyus would be privileged to have as a teammate if it happens organically,” Gary Battle told SNY.tv. “There is no package deal being worked.”

    Battle is from New Jersey and Thornton from California, but the two guards have known each other other for several years and are friends. They are being recruited by some of the same schools — including UConn, Kentucky, Michigan and Florida — but will pursue their recruitments separately.

    IsaiahBy JOHN PAVIA

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    UNION, N.J. — Incoming Seton Hall freshman Isaiah Whitehead looked very comfortable among a collection of seasoned collegiate guards at the Nike Point Guard and Big Men Skills Academy at Kean University.

    Whitehead, a 6-4 combo guard, was the lone player from the incoming freshmen class among the group of collegiate guards, but he looked like he was just another veteran player on the court.

    “They’ve [the college guards] given me advice, but just playing on the court with them,” Whitehead said. “Just seeing what they do to me and then they’ll explain it to me after. Like [Gonzaga guard] Kevin Pangos, he gave me a lot of info just about how to control your team, to control the tempo of the game and have it under control.” 

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOl61QKVKs4&w=560&h=315]

    You have to wonder if it is a bad omen for the Cleveland Cavaliers going forward that broadcaster Fred MacLeod introduced No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins as Mitchell during Friday’s introductory press conference.

    MacLeod tried to cover his tracks by saying, “I go back….Mitchell, you wanna make a comeback?”

    Mitchell Wiggins, Andrew’s father, hasn’t played in the NBA since 1992 when he was with the Sixers.

    Speaking of the Sixers, their top pick and Wiggins’s former Kansas, Joel Embiid, may miss the entire 2014-15 season while recovering from a stress fracture in his right foot.