Jackson Davis Cuts to 3, Will Decide This Week

jackson-davisJackson Davis has cut his list to three schools and plans to decide by the end of the week.

The 6-foot-8 Lexington (Ky.) Lafayette power forward is down to Alabama, Butler and Rice.

Arizona State, Columbia, Creighton, Florida and Vanderbilt are out.

Here’s his father, Johnathan Davis, on the three finalists:

“Alabama – Coach [Anthony] Grant is an outstanding person with a vision that would allow Jackson to grow as a basketball player. The opportunity to play in the SEC would be a huge honor. Coach [John] Brannen brings familiarity in a place far from home. He is from Kentucky and is kindred spirit.” To read more of this story, click here

Duke, UNC, Kentucky Among Schools in Running for Jayson Tatum

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By JACK LeGWIN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

The top schools in the nation are trying to convince Jayson Tatum that their program is right for him.

“Illinois watched me last week,” Tatum told SNY.tv. “Coach K from Duke will watch me on Wednesday. He calls to check in on me frequently.”

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari will also watch Tatum Wednesday..

Tatum says that seven schools are working the hardest, keeping in touch the most at the moment.

“Duke, UNC, Illinois, St. Louis, Kentucky, Wake Forest and Michigan State are showing the most interest,” Tatum said.  To read more of this story, click here

Bakary Konate Commits to Minnesota; Darrick Wood to DePaul (UPDATED)

Photo via 247sports.com

Photo via 247sports.com

By JOHN PAVIA

Special to ZAGSBLOG

Sunrise Christian Prep center Bakary Konate committed to the University of Minnesota on Wednesday to become their fifth commitment to play under coach Richard Pitino next season.

Konate’s Sunrise Christian Prep coach, Luke Barnwell, offered his take to SNY.tv on what Konate will bring to the Golden Gophers next season.

“He’s a legit 6-11 guy,” he said. “He’s very long, a defensive presence at the rim and a pretty good shot blocker. He moves pretty well and gets up and down the floor. He’s fairly skilled and can make perimeter shots for a big guy. He will be a defensive presence right away at Minnesota, but offensively, he may need to develop a little bit more.” To read more of this story, click here

Kentucky’s Poythress, Johnson Returning to Loaded Frontcourt

POythressKentucky freshman center Dakari Johnson and sophomore forward Alex Poythress both made the wise decision to return to Kentucky for next season, adding to what will surely be a loaded frontcourt and a very deep team.

The 7-foot Johnson is projected as the No. 18 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, while the 6-7 Poythress is projected as the No. 42 pick.

Both can help their stock with a strong season next year. To read more of this story, click here

Source: Chane Behanan to Announce for NBA Draft (UPDATED)

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Michigan vs LouisvilleFormer Louisville forward Chane Behanan has hired an agent and will declare this week for the NBA Draft, a source close to the situation told SNY.tv.

“Yeah, sometime this week,” the source said. “He signed, he’s got an agent already.”

Behanan took to Twitter to respond, saying, “Never Reported anything so don’t listen. If I haven’t said it then it’s not true.”

One veteran NBA scout thinks going to the NBA is a bad move, calling it a “mistake.”

“Off the court issues will really affect his draft stock,” the scout told SNY.tv. “He goes undrafted. He is a small 4 with no NBA-type  3 skills.” To read more of this story, click here

Pitino Says Donovan Would be ‘Terrific’ NBA Coach, but Doubts He’ll Jump to Pros

DonovanLouisville coach Rick Pitino thinks Billy Donovan would be a “terrific” NBA coach, but says he’ll likely get “cold feet” and won’t make the jump.

The Florida coach, who in 2007 took the Orlando Magic job only to have a change of heart that brought him back to Florida, is now being linked to the Minnesota Timberwolves position vacated by Rick Adelman’s retirement.

“Billy would be terrific because he’s a lot like Brad Stevens in his personality,” Pitino, who coached Donovan at Providence, said Wednesday on ESPN’s Mike & Mike.

To read more of this story, click here

Shayok to Virginia; Cavs Continue to Recruit Garden State

Marquette’s loss is Virginia’s gain.

Onetime Marquette commit Marial Shayok pulled the trigger for Virginia on Tuesday, heading to play for the Cavs after he decommitted from Marquette in the wake of the coaching change.

Shayok will now play against Buzz Williams, the man who recruited him to Marquette but is now coaching at Virginia Tech.

“Happy to announce I’ve committed to the University of Virginia!” Shayok Tweeted.

“It’s a great school, program and coaching staff and Marial will be able to have an impact on the team his freshman year,” his father, Makur, told SNY.tv. To read more of this story, click here

Keith Thomas Enjoys St. John’s Visit, Others Coming; McLean Visiting Oklahoma

Keith ThomasKeith Thomas of Westchester Community College enjoyed his visit to St. John’s and now has several more coming up, but the Johnnies appear to be positioned well for the 6-foot-8 forward.

Thomas will visit South Florida Wednesday-Thursday and then head to Miami May 1-2. He will have one official remaining after that and may trip to Arizona. He has also been to Loyola Chicago.

“He enjoyed it, he thinks [head coach Steve] Lavin was a genius on a lot of stuff,” WCC coach Tyrone Mushatt told SNY.tv.

Lavin surely pitched the appeal of playing in New York and at Madison Square Garden, which struck a chord. To read more of this story, click here

Strong Big Man Crop Could Headline 2015 NBA Draft

BigsBy JOSH NEWMAN and ADAM ZAGORIA

NEW YORK – When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver steps to the podium to open the 2015 NBA Draft, there is at least a fair chance he will read off the name of a big man.

After that, there could be another, and another, and yes, another. By the time the first round ends, Silver may have spent a good portion of his evening reading names of kids who will spend their NBA careers in the post.

The 2015 NBA Draft is still 14 months away, but the way things are shaping up right now, it may be dominated by post players. In its 2015 mock draft, DraftExpress.com has three of the first four picks, seven of the first 11 and 12 of the first 19 as players who stand 6-foot-9 or taller. That group now includes returning Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell, returning Florida forward Chris Walker and returning Kentucky center Dakari Johnson. To read more of this story, click here

Poll: With Parker Declaring, Who Should be the No. 1 Pick in the NBA Draft?

Parker use thisJabari Parker officially declared for the NBA Draft on Thursday, ending any questions about whether he might return to Duke to join their loaded recruiting class for a run at the 2015 NCAA championship.

“I am now ready to take the leap to the NBA. It’s a dream come true,” Parker wrote in Sports Illustrated.

Some NBA personnel think the 6-foot-8 Parker is more prepared than fellow frosh superstars Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Julius Randle to contribute immediately at the NBA level.

“He is the most ready freshman to step in and help a team next year,” one former NBA executive told SNY.tv Thursday. To read more of this story, click here

2014 NBA Draft Early Entry List

Below is a constantly fluid list of Early Entrant candidates for the 2014 NBA Draft based on various sources, interviews and media reports, including DraftExpress.com.

The NCAA Early Entry “Withdrawal” Deadline is April 15 and the NBA’s Early Entry eligibility deadline is April 27. The NBA will release its official list of Early Entry Draft candidates on May 2.

Click on the name of the player for a link to the related story. If you have tips on other players,

Tweet them to me here:     To read more of this story, click here

Julius Randle Declares for NBA Draft

RandleKentucky forward Julius Randle became the latest freshman in this heralded class to announce for the NBA Draft when he held a press conference Tuesday.

The 6-foot-9 Randle is projected as the No. 4 pick in the Draft by DraftExpress.com. The three freshmen projected ahead of him — Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker — have all declared for the draft.

“I have decided to declare for the NBA Draft,” Randle said.

“Growing up as a kid it’s always been my dream to play in the NBA and there’s no better time to achieve that than now.”

Randle is the 12th one-and-done at Kentucky in five years, according to Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal.

“He is going to be a top-5 pick,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “Skilled offensively but needs to develop a consistent 15-17-foot jump shot to become even more of a threat at the offensive end.” To read more of this story, click here