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.
By JACK LeGWINCOLUMBIA, S.C.- Brandon Ingram has one of the highest upsides in all of high school basketball.
He is currently projected as the No. 11 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.
On Monday, he scored 26 points, including a poster dunk on a defender that you can catch above, in front of North Carolina head man Roy Williams.
After the performance, Ingram said that nothing was new in his recruitment and that all the schools in his top six are still working hard, but with the high school season in full swing, it has died down a bit. Ingram will not be able to sign until the spring recruiting period.
“Nothing new really,” Ingram told SNY.tv. “The same six schools really, N.C. State, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, Kentucky and UCLA. Same recruitment, I’ve been with my high school team a lot. I’m not doing a lot of recruiting right now.”
Ranked No. 12 in the nation in the Class of 2015 by 247 Sports and listed at 6-foot-9, with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, Ingram has been compared to Kevin Durant on multiple occasions.
Some observers believe Ingram will ultimately end up at North Carolina because he is close with former Tar Heel Jerry Stackhouse, who also played for Kinston (N.C.) High and coaches Ingram during the summer on Stackhouse Elite.
Still, the academic scandal at UNC has complicated things and Ingram said that has impacted his thought process.
“Of course it affects my decision,” Ingram said. “I really like those guys a lot, and I really like all of the colleges a lot, so I’m just waiting to see what’s going to happen because it will affect my decision a lot. Seeing if they’re going to get into the NCAA Tournament, or seeing if they shy away from anything, it definitely does affect the decision though.”
Despite all of this, Ingram does say that the schools are thought of highly in his mind.
“All of the schools stand well,” Ingram said. “Of course you can’t go wrong with any of the six. I’ve been talking with Duke heavy, Kansas heavy, Kentucky heavy, all of them. I’ve developed good relationships, and of course it’s going to be hard to tell any one of them no, but when I’m 100 percent sure I’ll announce it.”
Kentucky head coach John Calipari, UCLA assistant David Grace and N.C. State assistant Rob Moxley, watched Ingram a week ago.
Ingram says that he enjoyed his visit to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness, and that his relationship with Coach John Calipari is very good.
“I’ve built a great relationship with the whole coaching staff there at Kentucky,” Ingram said. “It was a great feeling to be there. Jaylen Brown, Carlton Bragg and Stephen Zimmerman were all there, so I had a really good time.”
UCLA is the only school on the west coast in Ingram’s top 6, and he says that tradition is something that plays into his decision.
“How many championships they’ve won,” Ingram said. “They have a great coach, I watched a practice there, the intensity is very high, and they have very good wings.”
Three of Ingram’s top six schools are in state, and he says that he feels very good about each.
“NC State has a good role for me to come in right away and contribute,” Ingram said. “North Carolina needs shooters, so I can help out there. They have guys leaving so I feel like I can go right in and make an impact.”
As for the Jayhawks, Ingram feels that his role as a wing can be developed very well if he decides to go to Lawrence.
“They develop players very well, especially wings,” Ingram said. “With Andrew Wiggins last year, and Kelly (Oubre) this year. I think that would be a good place for me as well.”
Video- Webb Wellman/ BallisLife East
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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.