Five things you need to know about the Metro Classic in New Jersey | 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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Friday / July 3.
  • Five things you need to know about the Metro Classic in New Jersey

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Over the years the Metro Classic in New Jersey has featured a Who’s Who of future NBA stars and standouts.

    Ben Simmons, Karl-Anthony Towns, R.J. Barrett, D’Angelo Russell, DeAndre’ Bembry, Tyus Battle, Naz Reid and Cheick Diallo have all competed in the event over the years.

    This year’s event will feature several projected future NBA Draft picks as well, including Cade Cunningham of Montverde (FL) Academy, the projected No. 1 pick in 2021 per ESPN.com; Jonathan Kuminga of The Patrick School, the projected No. 6 pick; and Scottie Barnes of Montverde, the projected No. 26 pick.

    Here are five things you need to know ahead of the event:

    1-It’s now in Toms River

    After previously being housed at Kean University in Union, N.J., the Metro Classic will now take place at:

    RWJBarnabas Health Arena
    1245 Old Freehold Rd, Toms River, NJ 08753

    2) It will take place over two weekends

    Unlike in past years, the Metro Classic will actually feature two events on different weekends, Jan. 10-11 and Feb. 7-8. Full schedule here.

    3) Kevin Boyle returns home with No. 1 Montverde

    Former St. Patrick head coach Kevin Boyle once again returns home to New Jersey after winning five New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles with the Celtics. Montverde will face Gill St. Bernard’s on Friday night and Archbishop Carroll (PA) Saturday.

    Boyle’s current Montverde team is ranked No. 1 by USA Today and, led by Cunningham and Barnes, might be his best team ever. They won the prestigious City of Palms Classic for a fifth time last month.

    In Boyle’s first-ever matchup with his old school at the John Wall Holiday Invitational, Cunningham and Montverde smacked The Patrick School, 77-32, on Dec. 30 in a game attended by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

    Boyle has coached six top-3 NBA Draft picks since 2011, more than any other coach except Coach K during that time. Cunningham would make No. 7 in 2021.

    4) Jonathan Kuminga is not expected to play with ankle issue

    The 6-foot-8 junior forward is currently in a walking boot after injuring his ankle in last Friday night’s loss to Sierra Canyon in Minnesota. Celtics coach Chris Chavannes said Kuminga is not expected to play Friday against Blair Academy. Blair star and Virginia commit Jabri Abdur-Rahim (foot) is also out.

    /widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″> Kuminga faces a fascinating future. Listed in the Class of 2021, he could opt to reclass and head to Duke or Kentucky (or someplace else) in 2020, or he could play a year of pro ball before entering the 2021 NBA Draft. He could also remain in 2021 in high school, but that seems unlikely given his overwhelming talent at this level. At this point, he’s loading up on high school courses to keep his options open this summer.

    The Patrick School is also without Adama Sanogo and Bretner Mutombo, who are sitting out the state-mandated 30 days after transferring and will be eligible Jan. 18.

    5) Keep an eye on Newark native Dariq Whitehead

    The Newark native left New Jersey to play for Boyle at Montverde in eighth grade. While he bides his time behind other stars, he could be the face of the team in future years.

    Whitehead could also head straight to the NBA from high school if the one-and-done rules changes in 2022. Read more about him here.

    This story has been updated.

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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.