Recruiting Roundup: Butler, Monmouth, USC, Harvard, Auburn, SMU Land Pledges; Justin Smith Down to 2 | 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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Thursday / July 9.
  • Recruiting Roundup: Butler, Monmouth, USC, Harvard, Auburn, SMU Land Pledges; Justin Smith Down to 2

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    Christian David, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Vermont Academy, committed to Butler on Saturday night, giving coach Chris Holtmann a huge building block heading forward.

    Ranked the No. 23 shooting guard in the Class of 2017 by, he also considered Pitt and Creighton.

    “Christian has a high upside because of his versatility on both ends of the floor,” Vermont Academy coach Alex Popp said. “He is an athletic guard who is very skilled. He has great basketball IQ. Above all, he is a winner. He played on the Vermont Academy team that won NEPSAC AA last year.”

    David announced his pick on Twitter. He becomes the second Vermont Academy senior this week to pick a school, after 6-7 power forward Marcus Santos-Silva committed to VCU on Wednesday.

    He is Butler’s fourth commit, following point guard Jerald Butler, shooting guard Cooper Neese and power forward Kyle Young.


    Deion Hammond, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Riverdale Baptist (Md.) High School, committed to Monmouth on Saturday, as first reported by Josh Newman.

    Hammond, who averaged 12.8 points and 3.4 rebounds last season, also considered Quinnipiac and Canisius.

    “Deion got along with the players there, and they really wanted him to come there, as well as King Rice and the staff,” Donald Hammond told Gannett new Jersey on Saturday morning. “They didn’t put too much pressure on him, but they definitely let him know how important he was, and that helped him to make a decision.”

    Monmouth remains in the hunt for St. Anthony’s senior point guard R.J. Cole, and also has point guard Jamir Moultrie of District Heights (MD) Bishop McNamara on campus this weekend for an official.



    Victor Uyaelunmo, the 7-footer from Calvary Christian (FL) Academy announced his commitment to USC on Friday via Twitter.

    “I decided to go to USC because it had everything I needed. Both academically and basketball,” he explained. “I’m excited to have a great time and be able to works towards my goal in life.”

    Uyaelunmo joins Jordan Usher as the second commit in USC’s 2017 Class. They have the 32nd best-recruiting class in 2017 according to 247 Sports.


    EJ Montgomery, the 6-10 power forward from Joseph Wheeler (GA) High School, committed to Auburn on Thursday.

    Montgomery becomes the first commit in Bruce Pearl’s 2018 class after taking an unofficial visit to Auburn earlier this month. Auburn now has the No. 4 recruiting class in 2018 according to 247 Sports.

    He took to twitter to announce his commitment, saying, “I have made my decision I will be going to play for Bruce Pearl at Auburn University ��. “


    Everett Ray, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Trinity (TX) Christian Academy committed to SMU on Thursday.

    Ray chose SMU over Stephen F. Austin, TCU, Arkansas, Pepperdine, and Texas. He is SMU’s second commit in two weeks after they recently landed 6-0 point guard Elijah Landrum.


    Harvard landed a pledge from Danilo Djuricic, a 6-8 power forward from St. Michael’s College in Canada.

    He is Harvard’s second 2017 commit following Mario Haskett, a 6-3 shooting guard from Virginia.

    Tommy Amaker remains in the hunt for 6-10 Wendell Carter Jr., having made the final four on his list, a 7-footer Mohamed Bamba, who is considering Harvard among his seven.


    Justin Smith, a 6-7 wing from Stevenson (Ill., is down to two schools according to Jeff Borzello of

    Borzello reported on Friday morning that Smith will choose between Indiana and Villanova.

    Smith has taken official visits to both schools, and has cancelled a scheduled visit to Stanford for later ths month.

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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.