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.
Kentucky’s John Calipari checks in on 2023 targets D.J. Wagner, Mookie Cook, Kylan Boswell
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Kentucky coach John Calipari and assistant Chin Coleman continued to hone in on their top Class of 2023 prospects on Monday.
Calipari and Coleman were at the Slam Dunk to the Beach — now known as Hoophall East — to see Camden’s D.J. Wagner and the Arizona Compass Prep duo of Mookie Cook and Kylan Boswell.
The 6-foot-3 Wagner, who runs with the New Jersey Scholars on the Nike EYBL circuit, is the No. 1 point guard and the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2023, per 247Sports.com.
He went for a game-high 21 points and had six steals as Camden extended its winning streak to 40 games with a 73-41 rout of Archbishop Wood (PA).
Dajuan Wagner, considered by many the greatest high school player in New Jersey state history, spent a one-and-done year at Memphis under Calipari before becoming the No. 6 overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft.
Because of Calipari’s relationship with Dajuan — and the fact that D.J.’s brother Kareem Watkins and former Camden teammate Lance Ware are currently on the Kentucky roster — D.J.’s Crystal Ball is currently at 100 percent in favor of Kentucky. Calipari visited Camden High School to see Wagner on the first day college coaches could be out last month, and Wagner visited Kentucky — and Memphis — in October.
“It was a great experience just being in that atmosphere, seeing how crazy the fans are and how much they love the players,” Wagner, who averaged 22 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and two steals in leading Camden to a 13-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in the state for the second year in a row last winter, told NJ Advance Media’s Kevin Minnick after the visit.
“I got to talk with the coaches, hang out with them. I went to practices and saw just how different college is.”
But Wagner has made it clear he wants to go through the recruiting process and Villanova, Syracuse, Temple and Auburn are among those recruiting him as well.
“I am open to every school and really enjoying the process,” Wagner said in June at Philly Live where Memphis coach Penny Hardaway and Villanova’s Jay Wright were among those to watch him. “I’m not focused on committing right now. I’m focused on high school right now.”
Kentucky also watched the 6-7 Cook, a small forward ranked the No. 4 player in 2023 and Boswell, a 6-1 point guard ranked No. 11, in their 78-40 rout of Our Savior Lutheran.
Cook holds a slew of high-major offers, including from Kentucky, Arizona, Gonzaga, USC, UCLA, Kansas, Memphis, Arizona State, Creighton, Illinois, Michigan and more.
Boswell holds offers from Kansas, Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Florida, Creighton, Washington, Louisville and more.
Kentucky recently offered Class of 2023 forward Matas Buzelis of Brewster (N.H.) Academy on his official visit, and the school also hosted 7-foot-1 Class of 2023 Springfield Commonwealth (MA) big man Isaiah Miranda.
Check back later on ZAGSBLOG for more on Boswell and Cook.
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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.