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.
Recruiting Roundup: Kevin Knox, Jahvon Quinerly, Luther Muhammad, Shakur Juiston
Kevin Knox took his final official visit to North Carolina this past weekend and will decide sometime in early April between UNC, Duke, Kentucky and Florida State, the alma mater of his parents.
His father, Kevin Knox Sr., said UNC and Florida State “need” his son, a 6-foot-9 wing scorer from Tampa (FL) Catholic, while Duke and Kentucky “want” him.
“When you dissect each roster, I can actually see where Florida State and North Carolina would absolutely, positively need a guy like Kevin in the role that he would fulfill,” Knox Sr. told Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. “Whereas Kentucky, I think they might be all right. As well as Duke.”
As for North Carolina, which has yet to land a five-star recruit in 2017, they definitely “need” him.
“I thought they sold their desire to — not only want him — but they showed there was a need for him as well,” he said. “Obviously, it feels good when Coach Roy [Williams] looked at us and said, ‘It’s not necessarily a want here. There’s other schools that may want you. But here at North Carolina, we not only want you, we need you.’”
Still, the Knox family will keep an eye on whether junior small forward Justin Jackson, the projected No. 25 pick in the NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, returns for his senior season or heads to the NBA. If Jackson returns, it could deter Knox from coming.
“Now that’s different, because they’re similar players,” Knox Sr. said
Kentucky has a number of incoming frontcourt players in P.J. Washington and Nick Richards and remains involved for Mohamed Bamba, but that isn’t ruling them out.
“When you look at the NBA, people are positioning the good players to play with good players,” Knox Sr. said. “So when you talk about being able to play with all the good players, that says something. The quality of athletes that he has in the NBA, it speaks volumes.
“We’re getting loaded up at Kentucky, if we decide to go to Kentucky.”
OHIO STATE, VILLANOVA WATCH JAHVON QUINERLY
Ohio State coach Thad Matta and assistant Chris Jent, as well as Villanova assistant Ashley Howard, watched junior point guard Jahvon Quinerly go for 30 points, including this filthy move below, as Hudson Catholic beat Lincoln, 67-53, to advance to the Hudson County Tournament final against St. Peter’s Prep on Saturday.
“Thad Matta loved the way Jahvon played [Tuesday] nigh,” Hudson Catholic coach Nick Mariniello said.
“Villanova, they’re recruiting him hard and he’s been down there a handful of times. They’ve been up here a handful of times. They’re making him a priority at the point guard position.”
Quinerly is considering several other schools, including Arizona, Kansas, Stanford, Seton Hall and Virginia, and is targeting a decision this summer or fall.
CHRIS MACK, OTHERS WATCH LUTHER MUHAMMAD
In that same game, Xavier coach Chris Mack and assistants from Butler and Notre Dame watched 2018 shooting guard Luther Muhammad score 17 points.
“In my conversations with [Xavier assistant] Luke Murray, they’re heavily involved and they’re making him a priority right now,” Mariniello said.
He added: “Luther has an offer from Notre Dame. Coach [Mike] Brey was in early in the season and Ryan Ayers has been here a handful of times to see him and they like him a lot.”
Muhammad is also being courted by St. John’s, Seton Hall and Cincinnati, among others.
Seton Hall hosts Xavier on Wednesday night.
IOWA STATE, RHODY WATCH SHAKUR JUISTON
Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm watched Shakur Juiston, a 6-foot-7 forward from Hutchinson (KS) Community College, during practice on Tuesday and Rhode Island assistant Jimmy Carr is due on Wednesday. Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger may also come.
The former Paterson (N.J.) Eastside star is averaging 15.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for national power Hutchinson (15-0) Illinois coach John Groce came to see Juiston recently, while Seton Hall, Arizona State, Rutgers, La Salle, UTEP, St. Joe’s, Ole Miss and DePaul are also involved.
FREE THROWSSeton Hall associate head coach Shaheen Holloway was on hand at Kean University on Tuesday for the Roselle Catholic-Patrick School game for 2017 point guard Jordan Walker, 2018 big man Naz Reid, 2018 forward Valdir Manuel, 2019 guard Kahlil Whitney and 2018 7-footer MajurMajak….Minnesota offered 6-5 Class of 2018 SG Montez Mathis of John Carroll (Md.)…Oregon will see 2018 point guard Luguentz Dort of the Conrad (FL) Academy next week.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, 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.