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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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Tuesday / June 18.
  • Brandon Sampson Focusing on Three Schools

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    Brandon SampsonBrandon Sampson, a 6-foot-4, 175-pound shooting guard from Baton Rouge (LA) Madison, is now focusing on three schools after recently cutting his list to five.

    Sampson, who averaged 24.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists last season, is down to focusing on USC, Cal and St. John’s, with LSU (which just landed shooting guard Antonio Blakeney) and UCLA out of the mix, according to

    He said he plans to commit late.

    “I’m looking for the best situation for what I want to do in college, so really just basing it off playing time and being able to play through mistakes,” he told Scout. “That’s really how I’ve been rating these schools.”

    He visited St. John’s for Midnight Madness along with local targets Cheick Diallo of Our Savior New American, a 6-9 forward, and Isaiah Briscoe of Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, who ultimately chose Kentucky.

    Here are Sampson’s quotes on Cal, USC and St. John’s, per Scout:

    Cal: They get up and down. They have a pretty good team, pretty good guard play from Tyrone Wallace, who’s a point guard. I haven’t really been looking at the one spot, but I’ve been looking at the two spot to see where I fit in most in that system. It’s a pretty good situation there. I have a chance to go in there and start.

    USC: Another team in the Pac-12, that’s a big conference. They have a good point guard, too, (in Jordan McLaughlin) just coming in as a freshman. I have a good chance of going in there and starting as a freshman. Big minutes over there.

    SJU: I’ve talked to them since I was in ninth grade. They’ve been talking to me since they were recruiting Jarell [Martin]. Lav [Head coach Steve Lavin], I talk to him almost every day. He tells me if I was to come there I’d have big minutes as a freshman, I’d start and I’d really be a big contributor to that team.

    Wherever he lands, Sampson could be an impact player.

    “Man, he could be a program-changer,” Madison coach Jeff Jones previously told “He’s one of the few player’s who’s gotten better and better every year and he’s still tries to get better. He’s a hard worker. Very skilled shooter, but very athletic. Plays well above the rim. Whichever one of those programs he chooses, they’re going to get one heckuva player.”

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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.

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