Thon Maker Could Still Reclass, Be Top Pick in 2016

Thon Maker is settling in at his new school, Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ontario, and could still reclass to 2015, which would make him eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft where he could be the No. 1 overall pick.

Maker and his younger brother, Matur, transferred to Athlete Institute last month from the Carlisle (VA) School.

“The system here is similar, it’s Western education, similar to Australia in terms of the interpretation and so forth,” his guardian, Ed Smith, told by phone this week.

“We came here for the basketball, for him to get better, and for him to finish up well in school.”

Smith said it remains undetermined whether the 7-foot Maker will reclass to 2015, but it remains possible, meaning he could be on a college campus next fall and in the NBA by 2016, when he turns 19. To read more of this story, click here

Calipari, Wright Check Out 2016 Forward Omari Spellman

Kentucky coach John Calipari and Villanova coach Jay Wright were among those who checked out 2016 MacDuffie (MA) School forward Omari Spellman over the weekend.

The 6-foot-9 1/2 Spellman is the No. 5 center in the Class of 2016 according to 247Sports Composite rankings.

“Calipari went to see him on Saturday, Coach Wright from Villanova went to see him, just to check in on him,” PSA Cardinals coach Dave Gates told “And Coach Cal said he’s going to start recruiting him. He watched him at Peach Jam a little bit and his son [Brad] goes to the MacDuffie School as well. But he went in to check in on Omari and see how the big fella was doing. He’s going to start recruiting him.”

Spellman took an unofficial visit to Pittsburgh over the summer and has also been to UNLV. Gates said Villanova, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Ohio State, Miami and UNLV are among the schools working the hardest so far.

“Omari has a very high potential,” Gates added. “He’s grown an inch and a half since the summer.”

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Calipari Visits Zimmerman, Reiterates Interest

ZimmyKentucky coach John Calipari stopped in Tuesday to visit Stephen Zimmerman, the 7-footer from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman.

“[He was] just making sure Stephen knows how much Coach wants to coach him,” Lori Zimmerman, the player’s mother, told “And how excited they are we are coming for Madness.”

Zimmerman has scheduled all five of his official visits starting with North Carolina on Oct. 3, Kansas on Oct. 10 for ‘Late Night in the Phog,’ Kentucky on Oct. 17 for ‘Big Blue Madness,’ UCLA on Oct. 24 and Arizona on Nov. 7.

Zimmerman won’t commit until the spring and won’t sign a National Letter of Intent at all, his mother told

“It doesn’t protect the student-athlete, only the University,” she previously said.

Photo: Stephen Zimmerman

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Tony Bradley Weighing Options


Tony Bradley exploded onto the scene this summer, and has continued to impress in the recent months, adding an offer from Kansas this past week.

Ranked No. 28 in the class of 2016 by ESPN, Bradley, a 6-foot-8 junior at Bartow (Fla.), says that while he doesn’t have dates for visits, he does know that the in-state schools will get them.

“I’m planning on going to the local Florida schools: UCF, Miami, USF, Florida,” Bradley told “I’m trying to get up to Florida State as well.” To read more of this story, click here

White Plains Wing Tucker Adds Syracuse Offer

TuckerJordan Tucker, a 6-foot-7 2017 wing from White Plains (N.Y.) Archbishop Stepinac, picked up a Syracuse offer over the weekend after Orange coach Jim Boeheim watched him play in Albany.

He confirmed he will visit Syracuse Oct. 17.

”It kind of made me nervous but excited for myself at the same time,” Tucker told “Because when you think of a coach like Jim Boeheim coaching you and you see him work with NBA players and the interest he has in those players. Then in the back of his mind he’s thinking about me and how I’m doing and how I play.”

Tucker also holds offers from  Villanova, Dayton, Xavier, Providence, Oklahoma, Fordham and Manhattan.

“The interesting thing about him is he’s a hard worker and he hasn’t come close to reaching his potential,” New York Lightning coach Shandue McNeill told “He’s got a high IQ and his advantage is his versatility at 6-7. And I don’t think he’s done growing.”

Photo: AP

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Chris Clarke Enjoys Virginia Tech, Tennessee Next

Chris Clarke, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Virginia Beach (VA) Cape Henry Collegiate School, enjoyed his weekend visit to Virginia Tech and trips to Tennessee this coming weekend.

Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall paid him a visit at his school on Monday, and Virginia Tech assistant Isaac Chew watched him Tuesday.

“Another great visit,” Curt Clarke, the player’s father, told about Virginia Tech. “A great eye-opener of the academic support structure and a very committed staff for the rebuilding of this ACC basketball program. Coach Buzz [Williams] is very detailed and demanded hard work from all his players.”

Curt previously said his son — who previously tripped to UConn and Creighton — hopes to decide in the fall.

“Our intent is to hopefully have that decision before the early signing period,” he said. “Make that decision, be able to move forward with that program and at the same time be able to focus on finishing up high school.”

Clarke averaged 12.5 points this summer with Boo Williams on the Nike EYBL circuit, and 14.7 points at the Peach Jam. He made the ZAGSBLOG All-Peach Jam 2nd Team after leading Boo to the semifinals.

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Briscoe Enjoys UConn, Kentucky, ‘Has a Lot to Think About’

Briscoe Peach Jam actionIsaiah Briscoe enjoyed his back-to-back visits to UConn and Kentucky and now has two more visits planned in the coming weeks.

“He liked both visits, thinks he could be successful at both places, was very, very impressed with Kentucky and the machine that it is and the intimacy of UConn appeals to him,” Jimmy Salmon of the Playaz Basketball Club told Tuesday.

“He’s got a lot to think about.”

The 6-foot-3 Briscoe visited UConn first, and although the Huskies already have a point guard commit in Jalen Adams, Briscoe feels they could play together and be successful. To read more of this story, click here