Class of 2025 guard Nigel James Jr. talks Power 6 offers and high major interest | 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 12.
  • Class of 2025 guard Nigel James Jr. talks Power 6 offers and high major interest

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    By CHARLIE PARENT

    Nigel James Jr., an explosive point guard in the class of 2025, has already received offers from Creighton, UAB, and Manhattan, while several other Power 6 (Big East included) schools have been in contact.

    “I’ve talked to Marquette, Iowa State, Iowa, Providence, and George Mason,” James said in a phone interview.

    In terms of who’s recruiting him the hardest, James mentioned Iowa State and Iowa.

    He spoke about the appeal of both programs to ZAGSBLOG:

    Iowa State: “They [Iowa State] really try to make it like a family,” James said. “They really care about relationships.”

    “I was supposed to visit Iowa State soon,” he continued. “It’s not planned, but we talk about it.”

    Iowa: “Iowa does a good job,” he said. “They reach out a lot and make sure you’re comfortable.”

    The 6-foot-2 Long Island native, who currently plays for Cushing Academy (MA.) and Expressions Elite AAU, averaged 13 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals in his sophomore campaign with Cushing.

    James recently averaged 23 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals during the Gymrat Live Tournament with Expressions Elite as well. He put up 19 points in a semifinal loss.

    In terms of what he’s trying to show coaches during this summer’s AAU circuit, James wants to highlight his all-around playstyle while trying to develop his playmaking to the next level.

    “I want to show them [coaches] that I can shoot, make plays, defend,” he said. “There’s just so much more that you can do, even as a high-level playmaker, there’s just much more you’re able to do.”

    James’ AAU coach Ken Jackson echoed a similar statement on his playstyle and what they’ll continue to work on.

    “Nigel is a guard of all service,” Jackson said. “Standing 6-foot-2 with growing athleticism, he can run your show and get others involved with the best in the country. Or he can play uptempo and off-ball consistently be a scoring threat from all 3 levels. Nearly impossible to stop off ball screens and in transition.”

    “Some of the things we will work on would just getting sharper at the things he does well,” he continued. “He will strive to be consistent with play making and shot making ability.”

    While the summer AAU circuit will be a great opportunity to showcase his upside, James’ high school coach James Cormier doesn’t want the sophomore guard to lose sight of the importance of winning.

    “I think a lot of these kids they play AAU, they go to showcases, they play a lot of games, but oftentimes in the summer kids lose sight of the value of winning,” Cormier said. “I think that’s what I’ve tried to instill in him this year, being an underclassman, just understanding how the significance of the position he plays and how important it is to just put that at the forefront of who he is at the player.”

    “If there’s nothing else, he’s going to help his team win,” he continued. “You know if the shot’s not falling, then he’s going to find ways to impact winning. Whether it be in a leadership role, defensively, facilitating, I think that’s what we try and really do with all guys here.”

    “I think what makes NJ [James] unique is that he has such an outgoing and attractive way to him,” Cormier said. “Kids enjoy being around him on and off the floor, so when he buys into that it becomes contagious it becomes contagious amongst the pieces and players within your program. As he moves forward and continues to grow and mature in that role, he’s just going to continue to elevate his stock.”

    James has no other visits planned at this time and has no current timetable for a commitment.

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