R.J. Hampton considering four schools, reclassifying still an option | 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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Sunday / October 13.
  • R.J. Hampton considering four schools, reclassifying still an option

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — R.J. Hampton is considering four schools and reclassifying to 2019  is still a major option.

    The 6-foot-5, 170-pound Hampton from Little Elm, Texas is considering Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Memphis in his recruitment and has the option of going to college in 2019 or 2020. The No. 5-ranked recruit in 2020 according to 247Sports.com, he plans to wait to see how things shake out on the rosters of those four teams, with a keen eye on which point guards stay on campus and which head to the NBA Draft.

    “And let’s be honest, everybody’s talking about the reclass and I can’t sit here and lie. There is a possibility,” Rod Hampton, R.J.’s dad, told ZAGSBLOG Saturday at the USA Basketball Junior National Team mini-camp at the Jefferson Activity Center.

    “Even if we go anywhere in 2019, it’s going to depend on the roster. We’re not going to take a year to sit and learn. We want to play, we want to put the ball in our hands, we want to go to work.”

    Duke is a consideration and it could well depend on if Tre Jones heads to the NBA Draft.

    The 6-foot-3 Jones is currently projected as the No. 31 pick in this year’s Draft, according to ESPN.com. Fellow freshmen Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish are projected at 1, 2 and 6, respectively.

    “With Duke, if Tre leaves, that is something I would look into,” R.J. Hampton said. “I have to talk to my family. But that’s definitely something I would look into.”

    “Duke’s message is just come in and lead the team,” said Rod Hampton, R.J.’s father.

    Duke currently has a three-man recruiting class featuring guard Boogie Ellis, wing Wendell Moore and big man Vernon Carey Jr. They are also recruiting uncommitted McDonald’s All-American forwards Matthew Hurt and Trendon Watford.

    Kentucky is an option and is known for playing multiple guards. Freshman Ashton Hagans could go to the Draft, while Tyrese Maxey is coming in.

    “They got Hagans, but they got Maxey coming,” Rod said. “But they play multiple guards so I just want to be able to handle the ball, put the ball in his hands, make plays, thats what he does best.”

    Memphis is appealing because Hampton could play for coach Penny Hardaway, a former NBA All-Star, and with 7-foot-1 James Wiseman, who edged Hampton for the Gatorade National Player of the Year award.

    “With those guys coming in, they got James Wiseman, you got somebody in the hole,” Rod said. “The key for them is going to be shooting, R.J. can really shoot it. They’re doing a good job with Lester Quinones. I think they’re going to be really good with or without him. Then you got Trendon Watford, Matthew Hurt [also being recruited by Memphis].”

    Kansas is also an option, depending on how the roster shakes out. Dedric Lawson is headed to the NBA Draft, while Charlie Moore and K.J. Lawson are transferring.

    “We don’t know what Quentin [Grimes] is gonna do,” Rod said. “To be honest about R.J., it’s going to be about what’s left at these schools, we’re not in a rush.”

    Rod said they could also cut the list to three during the spring.

    “We re going to tighten some things up mayba fter the second EYBL session , get it down to three,” he said.

    R.J. said a final decision on reclassifying and college will come later this summer.

    “Summer sometime and I’ll make a for sure decision,” he said.

    Photo: USA Basketball

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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.