August 2014 | Page 16 of 22 | Zagsblog
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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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Sunday / June 16.
  • 4_2915817By JACK LeGWIN

    One of the top players in the state of Florida, Alex Owens, has committed to Providence.

    He also considered Houston, Missouri and Central Florida.

    “I’ve chosen to attend Providence University for College Basketball  ,” Owens tweeted.

    Listed at 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, the rising senior from  is one of the best rebounders and passers in the nation. Providence assistant Bob Simon was the lead recruiter for Owens, who is a great addition for the Friars.

    MalikMalik Beasley is in the midst of a two-day St. John’s visit that included a trip to the Queens campus on Sunday following his co-MVP performance Saturday in the Big Strick Classic and a visit Monday to Madison Square Garden.

    “We’re going to see the Garden today, we didn’t get to see it yesterday,” the 6-foot-4, 190-pound shooting guard from Alpharetta (GA) St. Francis told Monday morning by phone.

    Later Monday, Beasley Tweeted a picture of himself, St. John’s coach Steve Lavin and 6-9 Bosnian forward Amar Alibegovic that was taken on their tour of the Garden. As we previously reported, Alibegovic would be eligible for the 2014-15 season.

    Beasley had never been to the Garden before and Lavin always makes a point to showcase the arena to recruits. Beasley is one of several key 2015 St. John’s targets, along with Cheick Diallo, Isaiah Briscoe, Brandon Sampson and Tyler Dorsey.

    As for Sunday’s visit to the St. John’s campus, Beasley said, “It was fun. I liked the campus. It was cool.”

    IngramBrandon Ingram Tweeted that he took an unofficial visit to North Carolina Monday and will trim his list to seven schools by the end of August.

    “UConn offered,” he tweeted. “Done with the late comers. List will be narrowed to 7 end of August.”

    “He visited Carolina to watch them practice,” Ingram’s high school coach, Perry Tyndall of Kinston (N.C.), told by phone Monday. “They’re going to the Bahamas and so he was just going to watch them practice tonight.”

    North Carolina is considered among the favorites for the 6-foot-8 Ingram in part because he plays for Stackhouse Elite, the AAU program of the former Carolina star, but Tyndall says not to read too much into it.

    BlakeneyBy JOHN PAVIA

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK — Antonio Blakeney has had an incredible summer on the AAU circuit and he put forth another outstanding effort on Saturday at the Big Strick Classic at the Gauchos Gym in the Bronx.

    Blakeney, a 6-3 guard from Sarasota (FL) Oak Ridge, tallied 33 points for Team NYC and was recognized as a co-MVP along with Christ the King’s Rawle Atkins in their team’s 137-135 victory over Team USA. He also won the 3-point contest before the game was played. Blakeney was actually born in Watertown, New York, but moved to Florida at the age of 2.

    He listed Kentucky, Louisville, Florida State, Oregon, USC, LSU and Missouri as his final seven schools to on Friday before their workout session. In recent weeks, Blakeney has been under the watchful eyes of Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Kentucky’s John Calipari, to name a few, as they continue to make his recruitment a priority, but Blakeney has not planned visits to any schools yet. 

    Jean Marc Christ Koumadje, a 7-foot-4 native of Chad whose stock took off this July, has named a top three list of schools and will also remain at Montverde (FL) Academy for his senior season.

    Koumadje’s top three is Florida State, UConn and UCLA, and he plans to visit all three, as well as SMU and Houston, his mentor, Suliemon Holman, told

    “Florida State is the only [visit] that we have committed [Sept. 5-6],” Holman said. “And UConn. UConn we’re still working out the dates. He doesn’t want to take any visits until September. He’s just doing kids stuff the rest of the summer. He’s going to take his five visits.”


    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK — The raucous crowd that packed into the Gauchos Gym Saturday night got everything it could have wanted. In a back-and-forth game throughout, the Big Strick Classic came down to the final seconds, with Team NYC defeating Team USA, 137-135.

    In the game dedicated to the memory of streetball legend John “Big Strick” Strickland, both teams played with something to prove for 48 minutes.

    Rawle Alkins, a 6-foot-4 guard from Christ the King who said Indiana, Cincinnati and N.C. State are recruiting him particularly hard, took home co-MVP honors for Team NYC by scoring 17 points. His play was especially big down the stretch, when he scored six points to hold off a USA team that continued to chip away at NYC’s lead.

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