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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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Wednesday / February 28.
  • Highly touted UCLA freshman and native Australian Jonah Bolden was deemed ineligible by the NCAA for his freshman season, UCLA said Friday.

    The 6-foot-9 Bolden can’t practice (for now) but will remain on scholarship all year. He can practice after the first quarter if he maintains a certain GPA, a source close to the situation told SNY.tv.

    “The NCAA has ruled that UCLA freshman Jonah Bolden is a partial qualifier, and as such, will not be able to compete for the men’s basketball team this season,” UCLA said, according to ESPN.com. “The ruling allows for Bolden to continue on athletic scholarship.”

    The issue for Bolden — who committed to UCLA last December — relates to the fact that his clock expired before he graduated high school in the United States. Bolden began last season at Findlay Prep before transferring and finishing up at Brewster (N.H.) Academy.

    JarvisBy JACK LEGWIN & ADAM ZAGORIA

    Minnesota coach Richard Pitino continued his recruiting roll on Friday when he received a pledge from Jarvis Johnson, a 6-2 combo guard from Minneapolis (MN) DeLaSalle who took an official visit to campus last weekend.

    Johnson also considered Wisconsin, UNLV, Baylor and Wichita State, but ended up being Pitino’s first recruit from the state of Minnesota.

    “I would like to thank God first for putting me in the position that I am in today,” Johnson said. “I gave much thought and time into my college decision. I am proud to announce that I will be attending the University of Minnesota.”

    Johnson, ranked No. 101 in the class of 2015 by 247 Sports, is super quick off of the bounce and can drill it from deep. 

    Kansas has a big recruiting weekend on tap including visits with 2015 Our Savior New American forward Cheick Diallo and 2016 Athlete Institute big man Thon Maker on Friday.

    On Thursday, head coach Bill Self had a “great” home visit with 2015 Cleveland (OH) Villa-Angela St. Joseph forward Carlton Bragg, Bragg’s mentor Michael Graves told SNY.tv.

    “We were really impressed with the presentation, tradition and the present and future of the Kansas program,” Graves said. “They showed Carlton clips of past Jayhawks and the way [Self] likes to use his power forwards.

    Here’s your Friday morning look-ahead to the weekend’s recruiting visits and other news:

    **After hosting Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Villanova’s Jay Wright and Rutgers’ Eddie Jordan this week at Gill St. Bernard’s, 2016 guard Tyus Battle will host Kentucky’s John Calipari on Friday. Battle will also trip to Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness, along with Duke’s, and possibly’s Villanova’s, Midnight Madness events.

    **Steven Enoch, a 6-10 forward from St. Thomas More, will take an official visit to UConn this weekend and could end up committing on the trip. Enoch told SNY.tv this summer he grew up a huge UConn fan.

    **Jarvis Johnson, a 6-1 shooting guard from Minneapolis (MN) DelaSalle, is expected to announce for Minnesota over Wisconsin, Michigan State, UNLV & Baylor. Minnesota and coach Richard Pitino already have three commits in point guard Kevin Dorsey, shooting guard DuPree McBrayer and big man Jonathan Nwankwo.

    Mickey Mitchell has recommitted to Ohio State after decommitting last month.

    “After short consideration, The Ohio State University is the only place for me, staff & players are family. Can’t wait to get back! GO BUCKS!” the 6-foot-7, 220-pound small forward from Plano (TX) Tweeted.

    He had taken an official visit to Ohio State last weekend.

    Mitchell’s commitment comes one day after Shaker Heights (OH) power forward Esa Ahmad picked West Virginia over Ohio State and Maryland.

    Mitchell’s older brother, Mike – a heralded linebacker who played as a freshman at Ohio State over the previous season – left the Ohio State football program in January, citing his father’s health as part of the reason. Mike eventually landed at Texas Tech in Lubbock.

    Four days after landing a commitment from Kai Mitchell for 2016, Iona on Thursday picked up a commitment from 6-foot-2, 175-pound Spring Valley (N.Y.) combo guard Rickey McGill for 2015.

    Mitchell and McGill are best friends and Spring Valley teammates.

    “What made me pick Iona was that I wanted to stay close to home,” McGill told SNY.tv. “I love the coaching staff. When I get to Iona, they are going to be hard on me to be successful, not only as a basketball player but as a person in life.”

    While national powerhouses Louisville and Kentucky come into Gill St. Bernard’s this week and try to take one of New Jersey’s top talents out of the region for college, the local schools are working to keep Tyus Battle close to home.

    Villanova coach Jay Wright and Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan watched the 6-foot-5 2016 guard work out Thursday at Gill St. Bernard’s and made a similar pitch.

    “They said that he would obviously be an integral part of their programs and it would be a big deal for a kid at his level to stay at home who is being recruited by everybody in the country,” Gary Battle told SNY.tv. “Both of them said, ‘Let’s keep this guy at home.'”

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