Marcus LoVett to St. John's; Sammy Barnes-Thompkins to BC (UPDATED) | Zagsblog
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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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Friday / July 19.
  • Marcus LoVett to St. John’s; Sammy Barnes-Thompkins to BC (UPDATED)

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    LovettMarcus LoVett waited until the very end, but he ultimately committed to St. John’s.

    On Friday, St. John’s announced that LoVett signed his National Letter of Intent.

    “We are excited to welcome Marcus to our basketball family,” said head coach Chris Mullin. “Marcus has an instinctive playmaking ability at a position we know is very important. I look forward to working with Marcus and developing his skills on and off the court that will help him reach his goals.”

    The 5-foot-11 LoVett, a First Team All-State selection by the Chicago Tribune, finished fourth in the statewide vote for Illinois Mr. Basketball in 2015 after a standout senior campaign at Morgan Park High School. LoVett averaged approximately 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists playing for head coach Nick Irvin. He served as a team captain and helped lead the Mustangs to a 21-5 overall record and third place finish in the state tournament last season. LoVett set an Illinois Class 3A playoff record with 45 points on 20-of-27 shooting in the semifinals.

    LoVett attended high school in California during his three years prior to Morgan Park. He lettered two seasons at Providence High School in Burbank, Calif. where he averaged over 30 points per game. LoVett spent his junior season at San Gabriel Academy in San Gabriel, Calif. He received the 2014 Wooden High School Player of the Year Award for CIFSS Division V averaging approximately 22 points and six assists at San Gabriel. LoVett was a member of the AAU team Dream Vision playing for head coach Clayton Williams.

    On Wednesday night, Tweeted out a picture of himself signing a National Letter of Intent to play for the Red Storm.

    “It’s official NLI is done mom and dad trust this was best decision I made for MYSELF BrightLights here we come…” he Tweeted.

    LoVett held offers from DePaul, Illinois, Kansas, Memphis, Pitt, St. John’s, UC-Irvine, and Tennessee, among others.

    On April 18, he tweeted out his top eight schools in order: St. John’s, Memphis, Illinois, DePaul, Pitt, UC-Irvine, UNLV, and San Diego State.

    St. John’s is a program he’s very familiar withFormer coach Steve Lavin offered the consensus four-star back in November, and he and assistants made an effort to both watch and visit with Lovett during the high school season.

    “I think Mullin was a good hire for them,” LoVett told recently. “He’s a Hall of Famer. To have someone in the Hall of Fame coach me, I just think that he could get me to where I want to be. He was a guard, too, and he could teach me a lot. He knows what it takes.”

    LoVett joins 2015 commits Malik Ellison, Durand Johnson, Ron Mvouika,  Darien Williams, Yankuba Sima and Tariq Owens, who must sit after transferring from Tennessee.



    4_2962486Former St. John’s commit Sammy Barnes-Thompkins committed to Boston College earlier Wednesday.

    “They have great coaches, great academics and it’s in a great conference (ACC),” his father told

    A 6-3 scoring point guard from Phoenix (AZ) Sunnyslope and Planet Athlete National Prep, Barnes-Thompkins also considered St. Mary’s, his father said.

    “Thompkins is the best scorer in state from his class,” Gregg Rosenberg, Arizona high school scout for and, told when Barnes-Thompkins committed to St. John’s in March. “He has deep range on his jumper and can separate from his defender almost at will. He has a thick strong body to get into the lane and score through contact. He does, at times, take poor shots and become a volume shooter, but he has the ability to make his teammates better. He is a very good passer and knows how to set up his man. He has big strong hands to rip defenders on defense and has improved every year for the last 3 years to be the player he is today.”


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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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