Malachi Moreno updates recruitment after Kentucky's Mark Pope watches him at USA Camp | 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 / June 18.
  • Malachi Moreno updates recruitment after Kentucky’s Mark Pope watches him at USA Camp

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    By MATT WHITFIELD

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.Malachi Moreno, the 6-foot-11, four-star center from Georgetown, Ky., stood out with his play Saturday morning at Team USA Men’s U18 Nation Team Training Camp, although he didn’t end up making the final cut for the 12-man team.

    Moreno excelled as a force down low due to his athleticism, strength and size with new Kentucky head coach Mark Pope and assistant Cody Fueger looking on.

    “They’re a brand new staff, so them being here means a lot,” he told ZAGSBLOG in an exclusive interview. “And I know they have some other business to take care of but just them showing up in the gym shows a lot of character.”

    Moreno grew up watching college basketball, not just Kentucky. And despite being from Kentucky he has never had a dream school. Still, he sounded ecstatic about the Wildcats hiring of Pope.

    “Coach Pope wants to bring banner No. 9,” he said. “He sold out a press conference. He’s got some class and he knows what he’s doing because he played there and he won a championship.”

    North Carolina has also recently offered and Moreno has recently chatted with head coach Hubert Davis.

    “I love UNC,” he said. “I love Coach Sean May. Me and Coach Davis talked the other week and it was a pretty good conversation. He’s a very funny guy. And it’s just a fun atmosphere to be around.”

    Indiana was an early school to get involved with Moreno and they could be a finalist in his recruitment


    “Indiana, I consider them a blue blood to be honest,” he said. “They have been involved in my recruitment since I was a freshman. And I have only grown tighter and closer with them ever since.”

    Moreno stated Kentucky, Indiana, Baylor, UNC, Ohio State, and Iowa are schools that are prioritizing him right now. And Moreno already has an idea of where he wants to visit.

    “I’ll probably start [taking officials] late summer or early fall,” said Moreno. “I’ll definitely take one to Indiana, Baylor, Kentucky, Ohio State. I already took an official to Iowa, but I will definitely try and make it back up there.”

    Moreno was announced among the 18 finalists for Team USA, but didn’t end up making the final 12-man team

    “It’s a great experience,” he said. “It’s like no other camp in the world. And it definitely shapes you to be a better player.”

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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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