Class of 2026 guard Deron Rippey Jr. visits Syracuse; Rutgers up next | 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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Tuesday / April 16.
  • Class of 2026 guard Deron Rippey Jr. visits Syracuse; Rutgers up next

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Deron Rippey Jr., the 6-foot-2 point guard from Blair Academy (NJ) and New Heights Lightning, visited Syracuse Saturday and will make the short trip to Rutgers on Thursday for the Michigan game.

    Rippey saw Syracuse beat Notre Dame, 88-85, on Jim Boeheim Day.

    “The Unofficial visit was great!” Deron Rippey Sr. told ZAGSBLOG. “The message is Ron Ron is a part of their plans and [they] want him to come back and take official visits when he can. The coaches will be out to see him play a lot and the back court is sophomores.

    “Coach Red [Autry] and Coach [Allen] Griffin are big on Ron Ron.”

    Next up is an in-state visit to Rutgers for the Michigan game.

    Rippey also attended a UConn game last month, and told ZAGSBLOG in December UConn and North Carolina were his “dream schools.”

    He holds offers from Rutgers, Syracuse, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas A&M and St. John’s, among others. Kentucky has also shown interest.

    Rippey has taken over the starting point guard role at Blair this season under legendary high school coach Joe Mantegna, who will be coaching South Sudan in the 2024 Olympics.

    Last Thursday, he went for a career-high 22 points with 5 assists and 3 rebounds as Blair beat St. Benedict’s Prep in the New Jersey State Prep A title game.

    “He’s adjusting really well, and every week, he seems to be improving,” Mantegna said. “He’s growing up, maturing and playing with a lot of poise.”

    “He’s exactly the guard you want right now,” Mantegna continued. He can score, he makes some of those dime cross-court passes. Those are passes that sophomores in college are learning to make. He’s a dog on defense and that’s what travels [to the next level].”

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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.

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