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.
Five of the top 13 projected NBA picks in 2020 are from New York and New Jersey
By ADAM ZAGORIA
New York and New Jersey have a slew of talented young basketball players on the rise and one look at ESPN’s latest 2020 mock NBA Draftshows that to be true.
Five of the top 13 projected picks in 2020 are from the two states. All are projected one-and-done players.
New York native Cole Anthony, now a freshman at North Carolina, is the projected No. 4 pick in 2020, right behind new Memphis freshman big man James Wiseman, Georgia freshman shooting guard Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball, who’s playing in the Australian NBL and is in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick
Following Anthony, Florida freshman wing Scottie Lewis formerly of the Ranney (N.J.) School is the projected No. 10 pick.
Memphis freshman wing Precious Achiuwa, a native of Nigeria who lived five years in The Bronx, is at No. 11.
Kentucky freshman wing Kahlil Whitney of Roselle (N.J.) Catholic is at No. 12
Washington freshman forward and Rochester, N.Y., native Isaiah Stewart is projected at No. 13.
Villanova freshman Bryan Antoine, also a New Jersey native, is no longer in the mock after being projected earlier as a one-and-done. Antoine had to undergo shoulder surgery before the season.
“I think the newest mock draft projections show the country what people in this area have been thinking for a while, which is that New York/New Jersey basketball is currently the hotbed of the sport at the high school and grassroots level,” Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff, whose program has won three New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles since 2013, told me earlier this year. “And it’s an honor for us to have a couple of our players mentioned in the mock draft, but it’s tremendous for the entire area to be able to have that type of recognition.
“I’ve often thought that the claim that New York basketball was down was probably a little bit overstated,” Boff said. “Maybe down from what it had been historically, but not down from what you think about in terms of national brands in terms of high school basketball.”
DUKE & KENTUCKY HAVE A COMBINED SEVEN PICKS
**Duke leads the 2020 mock with four projected picks in No. 16 Matthew Hurt, No. 18 Tre Jones, No. 19 Wendell Moore and No. 27 Vernon Carey.
**Kentucky has three projected picks: No. 12 Whitney, No. 14 Tyrese Maxey and No. 30 Ashton Hagans.
**Memphis, which has the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class for 2019, has two projected lottery picks in No. 1 Wiseman and No. 11 Achiuwa.
**Washington has two projected lottery picks in No. 9 Jaden McDaniels and No. 13 Stewart.
**Arizona has two projected first-rounders in freshman point guard Nico Mannion at No. 8 and fellow freshman Josh Green at No. 22.
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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.