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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.
  • Quade Green Picks Kentucky

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    PHILADELPHIA — Four days after sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden to watch Kentucky beat Michigan State in the Champions Classic, Quade Green committed to the Wildcats on Saturday at Neumann-Goretti High School.

    The decision left Syracuse’s staff and fans stunned as the program had invested more than two years in recruiting the gutty point guard.

    The 6-foot-1 Green had also considered Duke, Temple and Villanova, but he cut them and it came down to Kentucky and Syracuse.

    Watching Kentucky live on Tuesday was something that Green said helped push him towards making a decision.

    “I knew they were gonna beat Michigan State,” Green said. “I just wanted to see how a real game was, in person, so after that I just made my decision.”

    Green visited Kentucky for Big Blue Madness along with his PSA Cardinals teammate Mohamed Bamba, recent Kentucky commit Nick Richards and other recruits.

    “It was great, I loved it out there,” he said Kentucky. “Very beautiful. The campus was beautiful, the coaching staff was great with me. I like it a lot out there.”

    With Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox and possibly Isaiah Briscoe all likely to leave after this season, Kentucky needed at least one more guard to go along with newly-signed combo guard Shai Alexander, and Wildcats coach John Calipari said the team will sign “five or six” guys. Kentucky remains in the mix for Trae Young, who is also considering Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas and is expected to decide in the next couple of months.

    “Coach Cal has been honest with me,” Green said after his announcement. “He told me to come in and play, and that I was gonna be the starting point guard for the upcoming team. And after that I decided that it was the best option I had.”

    Green added about playing at Kentucky next year with Alexander: “It helps me and it helps him. It helps me because I can play with length, playing with him and practicing with him is gonna help me. What’s gonna help him, I’m a fast guard and and he’s gonna need to put a body on me (in practice) because he’s so tall.”

    Green averaged 14.9 points, 9.8 assists and 3.2 steals per game for the PSA Cardinals, and helped them reach the finals of the Peach Jam where they lost to Michael Porter Jr., Trae Young and MoKan Elite.

    Longtime New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski has seen Green evolve from a scorer to more of a point guard.

    “He was always a points guard,” he said. “As a sophomore and junior, he shot 50 percent from three and he would finish plays for Neumann-Goretti, he wouldn’t initiate them. He left WE-R1 because Trevon Duval was the incumbent point guard. And he realized at this size, barely 6-feet, that if he wants to play beyond the college level, he’s gotta be a point guard.

    “So he goes to PSA Cardinals. He leads the EYBL in assists and he becomes a real point guard. He can really shoot the ball. He doesn’t have the explosiveness of a Trevon Duval but for a point guard it’s only the last four inches that count, from they eyebrows up and that’s what he has.”

    Syracuse has been involved with Green for two years, long before he blew up this past spring and summer. He picked up Duke and Kentucky offers in late June.

    “They love him,” Goretti coach Carl Arrigale said recently of Syracuse. “They have been on him for two years. They were on him before he blew up. So it’s kind of always a review of sorts when they are together.”

    Green paid a surprise visit to Syracuse last weekend for their season-opener, and visited along with St. Benedict’s Prep big man Bourama Sidibe, who will announce Monday and is considering Syracuse, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, among others.

    Syracuse has prioritized Green at the point guard spot, telling other floor generals like Matt Coleman of Oak Hill Academy that Green is their top priority.

    “Syracuse called me and said, ‘‘Matt, we aren’t knocking your game. We love you, but we are going to focus on Quade because that’s our guy,’” Coleman said recently.

    “I’m their only priority right now, that’s what they tell me,” Green said recently of Syracuse. “One thing about Syracuse that stands out is they want me to be the man on campus. And the fan base is crazy, the alumni are crazy.”

    By choosing Kentucky in a close call between the two schools, Green knows he left some people over at Syracuse a little disappointed.

    “It was really tough,” Green said. “Me and G Mac (Syracuse assistant Gerry McNamara) had really a great, great relationship. Shoutout to G Mac, I broke his heart today but I had to do what I had to do.”

    In the end, the allure of Kentucky was too much.

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