Nimari Burnett breaks down Top 12, plans first official visit | 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 / November 21.
  • Nimari Burnett breaks down Top 12, plans first official visit

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    By JACOB POLACHECK

    Nimari Burnett, the 6-foot-3 combo guard from Prolific (CA) Prep, broke down his top 12 schools for ZAGSBLOG Wednesday.

    Louisville: “Definitely the fans, the coaching staff and what they have planned for me and the rest of the incoming recruits is something that appeals to me. They have a bright future.” 

    Oregon: “They see me coming in as a point guard right away, as does Louisville. They think I can really help the team win and make a final four. They have some really intriguing prospects that I wouldn’t mind playing with. They have a bright future as well.” 

    Stanford: “The academics, of course, are superior to the rest. They have an up and coming basketball program there. They see me coming in right away and contributing to help the team win.”

    UCLA: “Being in LA is definitely a plus. Not only that, but the coaching staff is also really good with Mick Cronin and their assistants. They see me playing point guard to help the team win.” 

    Alabama: “They’re a good program. Coach Nate Oats and coach Bryan [Hodgson] have been recruiting me hard. With them coming from Buffalo, I’ve known about them since my sophomore year.  They’re a good program and they’re starting something special over there.” 

    Marquette: “They’re definitely a good program. Coach [Steve Wojciechowksi] and coach Stan Johnson have recruited me since my sophomore year. Justin Lewis is a big piece to the puzzle and I’m enjoying the recruitment from them.” 

    Arkansas: “Coach [Eric Musselman], he’s a good dude. He sees me playing right away and helping the team win. He sees me as a versatile player, playing multiple positions.” 

    Auburn: “They might get Sharife Cooper. They talk about that a lot, seeing how I feel with him. They think it would be a good fit. They think I can play right away and help the team win right away.” 

    Arizona: “The coaches are good. They’ve been recruiting me for a while now as well. They see me playing point guard and helping the team win in multiple ways.” 

    Illinois: “They were the first to offer me. Coach Geoff [Alexander] and I have a good relationship, as well as me and coach [Brad] Underwood. We talk almost everyday. They see me coming in and basically taking the role of Ayo Dosunmo over there.”

    Wake Forest: “They have an NBA coaching staff, with guys that have played in the league. They know what it takes to play in the league. They want the best for me. They see me coming in and being the guy of the team and winning.” 

    Michigan: “I’ve known coach Juwan Howard since I was about eight or nine years old. He sees me playing with Zeb Jackson and being an intricate part of the team’s success. He thinks I can play right away as well.”

    Burnett will take his first official visit to Alabama on September 27.

    “I’m planning other visits with other schools as we speak,” said Burnett. “I’m getting into the nitty gritty of my recruitment and I’ll probably be cutting my list to most likely five schools next month.”

    In terms of fit, Burnett made it clear that he would like to go somewhere that he can play point guard.

    “I want to go to a school that I know believes in me and wants the best for me,” he said. “I work on my game to be a point guard, especially trying to make the league. I want to be around people that will put me in the best position possible to do that and win.”

    Burnett has had a busy summer thus far.

    Playing for Team WhyNot on the EYBL circuit, Burnett averaged 20.4 points a game, while shooting 46 percent from the field.

    In the Peach Jam, Team WhyNot lost in the title game to MoKan Elite. Burnett averaged 16.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game and was 42 of 92 from the field, including 11 of 40 from three-point range.

    “It’s definitely been good playing for team WhyNot,” said Burnett. “I’ve had the chance to play with Addison Patterson, Jalen Green, Terren [Frank], Wilhelm [Breidenbach] and a bunch of other really good players.”

    “They’re really good teammates that play the game at a really high level with a really high IQ,” he said. “They have a really good work ethic. I feel that I did well and that we did well as a team.”

    Burnett also played with USA Basketball as a part of the U18 3-on-3 championship team that won the 18U World Cup in Mongolia last month.

    “Going to Mongolia was fun, seeing the different culture out there, as well as seeing the coaches of the teams we went against,” he said. “It was a battle. It was a good experience for me. It was my first time being outside the country, so I had a really good time.”

    According to 247Sports, Burnett is ranked as the No. 23 overall player in the Class of 2020 and the No. 5 ranked combo guard.

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