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.
Mohamed Bamba, the 7-footer from the PSA Cardinals and the Westtown (Pa.) School, is working with a group of seven schools and met with two of them on Tuesday, sources said.
The No. 2-ranked power forward in the Class of 2017, Bamba is considering Duke, Kentucky, UConn, Michigan, Syracuse, Texas and Harvard, although he never announced a formal cut.
Bamba met Tuesday at the Westtown School with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff, and UConn coach Kevin Ollie and his, sources said.
“Duke has a very rich history with Coach K,” Bamba said in July. “I think one of the biggest things that stand out to me about Duke is that all of their assistant coaches have played for Coach K at some point. That’s big. That shows that they’re a family.”
UConn continued its recent recruiting roll on Tuesday when it landed a verbal commitment from Tyler Polley, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Fort Lauderdale (FL) Sagement School.
Ranked the No. 32 power forward in the Class of 2017 by 247Sports.com, Polley also considered Pittsburgh and Tennessee.
“I think the opportunity to play for Kevin Ollie was the deciding factor for Tyler,” Sagemont school coach Adam Ross said. “You want to make a college decision based on the merits of the institution, the fit socially, academically and athletically, which Tyler did. But, it’s undeniable that KO is able to relate to players on a unique level and having the opportunity to play for someone that you relate to, that has been where you want to go, that is something Tyler felt was too much to pass up.”
Daron “Fatts” Russell, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep Institute and the Team Final AAU program, committed to Rhode Island and head coach Dan Hurley on Tuesday.
Ranked the No. 44 point guard in the Class of 2017 by 247 Sports.com, Russell also visited Grand Canyon, La Salle and Western Kentucky. Seton Hall was also in the mix.
“Coach Hurley’s vision for him was second to none,” said Tahar Sutton, Russell’s stepdad and assistant coach. “The other schools were recruiting point guards. Danny was recruiting Daron. He was determined to get him, not just the position.”
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — On a mid-September Monday afternoon, no less than five combined basketball coaches from Rutgers and Seton Hall sat in the bleachers watching an open gym at Hudson Catholic High School.
Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard and associate head coach Shaheen Holloway were making their presence known. So were Rutgers associate head coach Karl Hobbs and assistants Brandin Knight and Jay Young.
The objects of their attention were three Class of 2018 stars who play for head coach Nick Mariniello at Hudson Catholic and also run with the Sports U AAU team: point guard Jahvon Quinerly, shooting guard Luther Muhammad and small forward Louis King.
“[Seton Hall and Rutgers] want to recruit New Jersey and New Jersey’s a big part of what they’re trying to do,” Mariniello told me. “The metropolitan area is important, and for the locals to be successful they have to recruit from this area that’s got so many high-level players in it.”