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.
Linda Bryant Says Kentucky is ‘Not the Right Place’ For Her Son; BBN, Twitter Chime In
Linda Bryant, the mother of four-star Huntington (W.V.) Prep center Thomas Bryant, says her son is down to two schools, and really just one.
“Really it’s down to two,” Linda Bryant told Syracuse.com from her home in Rochester, N.Y. “Syracuse and Indiana. And it might be down to one soon. Thomas has always told me that Syracuse was the leader.”
Thomas Bryant has kept a low profile on his own recruitment, and was not immediately available for comment. He plans to sign in the spring.
The 6-foot-10 big man visited Kentucky this past weekend with 2016 teammates Miles Bridges and Curtis Jones for Kentucky’s win over Boston University, but Linda Bryant said Kentucky isn’t a good fit for her son.
“You have to give kudos to the man [John Calipari] for being able to recruit like that,” she told Syracuse.com. “But I don’t think that’s the right place for my son. He’s a young man who is still learning the game. He needs to be focused on that, not worrying which platoon he is on.”
That, of course, is a reference to Kentucky’s platoon system, which currently features two five-man platoons, but may or may not be in place next season.
Meantime, several Kentucky recruiting writers and members of BBN chimed in on Twitter by saying that Bryant does not hold a Kentucky offer.
“Her comment would hold more weight with me if Bryant had the option of choosing Kentucky, which currently he does not,” Chris Fisher of CatsPause.com Tweeted.
“lol we don’t want a 4 star,” one fan added on Twitter.
Kentucky remains involved with numerous 2015 big men who plan to commit late, including Stephen Zimmerman, Cheick Diallo, Carlton Bragg, Ivan Rabb and Caleb Swanigan.
Linda Bryant also seemed to dismiss Indiana — where her son twice visited recently.
“They have a lot going on,” she said. “It seems like we went down there under false pretenses. They didn’t tell us anything about failed drug tests or that type of thing going on. My son doesn’t need to be around that stuff.”
As Syracuse.com noted, six of Indiana’s 13 scholarship players have been involved in underage drinking or failed drug tests in the past year.
As for Missouri, Linda Bryant previously told SNY.tv that the SEC school was out for her son. He did take an official there and other sources said Thomas Bryant is still considering Missouri, where former Huntington coach Rob Fulford is an assistant and Bryant’s former Huntington Prep teammates, Teki Gill-Caesar, is a freshman. In September, Bryant told SNY.tv that Mizzou was recruiting him the hardest.
Syracuse reportedly does not have a scholarship available for the spring, but recruiting is always fluid and things could change with injuries, departures, transfers, etc.
Linda Bryant said her son planned to visit a Syracuse game when he comes home over Christmas.
“It’s great that we hear from Coach [Mike] Hopkins,” Linda Bryant told Syracuse.com. “But I told Coach Boeheim, my son needs to hear from you.”
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.