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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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Saturday / September 30.
  • ClarkeA week after committing to Tennessee, Chris Clarke has flipped to Virginia Tech.

    The 6-foot-5 guard from Virginia Beach (VA) Cape Henry Collegiate School  had initially considered Virginia Tech along with Tennessee, UConn and Creighton.

    Clarke Tweeted this picture of himself, with the tagline, “I’m staying home. VT.”

    The family added this statement: “After his decision on Tennessee, further communication with the family and discussion came to the opinion it would be better for him and his goals and the family’s situation to remain local. That’s why he’s going to Virginia Tech.”

    The change of course comes in the wake of a report by Bleacher Report that the NCAA is investigating the Southern Miss basketball program for potential rules violations that occurred under former coach Donnie Tyndall, now the head coach at Tennessee.’s Paul Biancardi Tweeted that Clarke’s family was considering the change of plans before the report came out.

    Clarke, ranked No. 41 in the class of 2015 by 247 Sports, brings a slashing presence to the Hokies.

    KejuanKejuan Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound wing from Hargrave (VA) Military, committed to Rutgers on Thursday.

    Johnson, who took an official to Rutgers this past weekend, is Rutgers’ second commit in 2015, following Florida point guard Corey Sanders.

    “Coach Eddie [Jordan] is a great coach,” Johnson told by phone. “I love everything he stands for and what he brings to Rutgers. It’s just a great situation for me coming in next year and being able to play next year as a freshman and get time and experience.”

    “He looks at us as more than players, he looks at us as a family.”

    Johnson said he also had offers from Georgia Tech, Western Kentucky, Florida Gulf Coast, East Tennessee State and Bowling Green.

    JR InmanIsaiah Briscoe, the top Class of 2015 prospect in New Jersey, is down to three schools.

    Rutgers and Seton Hall didn’t make the final cut, but St. John’s, Kentucky and UConn did and the 6-foot-3 point guard out of Roselle Catholic is expected to announce his choice next week.

    Tyus Battle, the top Class of 2016 prospect in the Garden State, recently cut his list to 11 schools.

    Neither Rutgers nor Seton Hall made the list for the 6-6 combo guard from Gill St. Bernard’s, but both Kentucky and UConn did, along with other traditional powerhouses like Duke, Syracuse, Florida and Michigan. (For more on Battle, watch the SNY documentary, “The Battle Plan.”)

    This is really nothing new for New Jersey’s top Division 1 programs. I’ve covered recruiting in the state for 15+ years and time and again, we’ve seen Coach KJohn Calipari, Rick Pitino, Jim Boeheim and others come in and take the top Garden State players out of state.

    Diamond Stone is closing in on a college decision, but no official announcement date has been firmed up.

    “We do not have a confirmed day,” Joe Grady, the athletic director at Milwaukee (WI) Dominican High School, told Thursday by phone. “Within the next few days we will try to set a confirmed date. We should have a date by Friday.”

    Grady said he was uncertain if Stone will announce on ESPN.

    “It depends on if ESPN wants to cover it,” he said.

    Briscoe Peach Jam actionAfter initially planning on signing during the NCAA’s late period in the spring, Isaiah Briscoe now stands on the brink of a college decision and will sign during the early period Nov. 12-19.

    The 6-foot-3 Roselle (N.J.) Catholic point guard will huddle this weekend with his father, George, and is expected to announce his decision as early as next week on the ESPN family of networks.

    “When I go home this weekend and I sit down with him, I’m hoping we can wrap this up during the period that’s coming up,” George Briscoe, who works in Washington, D.C., during the week, told Thursday morning.

    “I’m trying to close this thing up.”

    George said he didn’t think his son had already decided in his own mind.

    “He’s like a kid in a candy store so I don’t think so but I gave him a wrap it up time,” he said.

    Antonio Blakeney’s biggest takeaway from his visit to Kentucky this past weekend?

    It seems to be that the Kentucky players are treated like NBA guys.

    “What surprised me was just how the players are treated and how the strength coach is all on their butts and the academic are all on them,” the 6-foot-4 Blakeney told “They are treated like they are NBA players. I like that they are treated like NBA players. Not like in a celebrity way, but more making sure they have everything they need.”

    Kentucky will need several guards next season when Andrew and Aaron Harrison are expected to leave. The Wildcats are in the mix for Blakeney, Isaiah Briscoe and Malik Newman, among others, but it remains to be soon who will land where. Blakeney and Newman are both expected to commit late, while Briscoe could pop early.

    Ivan RabbIvan Rabb, the 6-foot-10 2015 big man from Oakland (CA) Bishop O’Dowd and the Oakland Soldiers, enjoyed his official visit to Kentucky and is eyeing a springtime decision, his mother told Wednesday.

    Rabb visited Kentucky last month and saw the Blue-White Scrimmage.

    “I thought it was a really nice school,” Tami Rabb, Ivan’s mother, said by phone. “The coaching staff was great. It was a lot to think about from the perspective of the business decision. I enjoyed my visit there.”

    Rabb had a tentative visit set for Kanas Nov. 7, but that didn’t work out for Tami.

    “We had a tentative date set but it didn’t work out wih my employer,” she said. “I couldn’t get out of work.”

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