By JOSH NEWMAN
NEW YORK – Arguably the most NBA-ready player in the Class of 2015 turned out to be the biggest name absent at the Jordan Brand Classic on Friday night.
Ben Simmons, a 6-foot-10 forward from Montverde (Fla.) Academy bound for LSU in the fall, skipped the event at Barclays Center after playing in the McDonald’s All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit, but that didn’t stop him from being talked about as a potential pro.
“He has an NBA body right now,” New York City-based recruiting guru Tom Konchalski told SNY.tv Friday night. “When you look at all the players when they were allowed to go straight from high school to the pros, the ones who had the most-immediate impact weren’t the Kobes, the Garnetts, they were the two Rookie of the Years back-to-back, Amar’e Stoudemire and LeBron James, in 2003 and 2004 because they had NBA bodies.
“There was no physical adjustment going for them, skipping that level. He has great feet, he has great hands and a great feel for the game, so I think he is the most NBA-ready right now.”
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Tyus Battle, the best player in New Jersey in the Class of 2016, took his official visit to Duke this weekend and took this picture with reigning national champion players Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Matt Jones and Grayson Allen.
The photo was posted by Andrew Slater of 247Sports.com.
Battle is a major priority for the Blue Devils going forward.
Coach K came to Gladstone (N.J.) Gill St. Bernard’s with assistants Jeff Capel and Jon Scheyer for a second time in December to see Battle, ranked No. 15 by ESPN.com in the Class of 2016.
“We like a Duke a lot, what’s not to like?” Gary Battle, the player’s father, told SNY.tv then. “They’re playing some great basketball right now. Coach K is very good at adapting to his players. Obviously, it’s a great academic school, that’s important to us, important to Tyus.” To read more of this story, click here
Brandon Sampson, the uncommitted 2015 guard out of Baton Rouge (LA) Madison Prep, is down to three schools and met with St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin and his staff on Saturday.
“It’s down to three schools, it’s Oklahoma State, LSU and St. John’s,” Madison Prep coach Jeff Jones told SNY.tv by phone on Sunday morning. “That’s it. It’s definitely narrowed down, and I would say LSU probably has the inside track, kind of being the home school. And St. John’s is right there as well.”
LSU already has a loaded class with Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney signed, and they are also in the mix for Malik Newman.
Meantime, Mullin and his staff flew to Louisiana and met Sampson later Saturday after meeting with Cheick Diallo. Sampson decommitted from St. John’s after Steve Lavin was fired. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Allonzo Trier will bring instant offense to Arizona next season, but he hopes to bring a run to the Final Four, too.
In Coach Sean Miller’s six years at Arizona, the Wildcats have been to three Elite Eights and one Sweet 16, but never a Final Four.
“Most definitely, I know how important it is to Coach Miller and the Arizona program to get to the Final Four after going to the Elite Eight for so many times in a row and falling short, so that’s definitely going to be a goal of mine and my teammates to try to come in there and take that next step,” Trier told SNY.tv this week at the Jordan Brand Classic.
The 6-foot-4 Trier knows about performing big in crunch time. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Jessie Govan plans to be on Georgetown’s campus by May 30 and hopes to continue his winning ways beginning with the Hoyas’ exhibition trip to Italy in August.
“The plan is to leave May 30th and go down there for some summer classes. They want me to get some credits in because we go to Italy in August,” the 6-foot-11 Govan told SNY.tv after going for 10 points and 7 rebounds Friday night when the Away Team beat the Home Team, 125-112, in the Jordan Classic Regional Game at Barclays Center.
Govan has done nothing but win in recent weeks — and he should make an immediate impact upon stepping onto the Georgetown campus. To read more of this story, click here
As we reported earlier today, Kentucky coach John Calipari and assistant Kenny Payne are in Canada recruiting.
The Kentucky coaches were spotted in Drake’s seats at Game 1 of the Wizards-Raptors playoff series, won by the Wizards, 93-86.
As first reported by Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal, Calipari and Payne are recruiting the Orangeville Prep duo of Thon Maker and Jamal Murray. Both are considering reclassifying to 2015 from 2016 and Kentucky is targeting both players. To read more of this story, click here
Charlotte transfer Mike Thorne committed to Illinois on his official visit, according to Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com.
The 6-foot-11 Thorne averaged 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in 26.1 minutes per game this past season for Charlotte (14-18 , 7-11 Conference USA). He will graduate in May and will be immediately eligible.
Thorne told SNY.tv that Kentucky had offered him and he had planned to visit both Kentucky and Kansas. Now neither is necessary.
Thorne previously told SNY.tv he was considering Arizona, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Illinois, Pittsburgh and “possibly N.C. State.”
Meantime, Kansas head coach Bill Self met late Friday night with Cheick Diallo after the 6-9 Diallo went for 26 points and 11 rebounds en route to MVP honors in a losing effort in the Jordan Brand Classic. Evan Daniels of Scout reported the Self visit.
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NEW YORK — It’s been quite an exciting few weeks for Cheick Diallo.
The 6-foot-9 forward from Centereach (N.Y.) Our Savior New American won MVP honors last month at the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago. Just last week he helped the World Team win the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore.
And on Friday night, Diallo put on a show in front of Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony, Victor Oladipo, Victor Cruz, Worldwide Wes, more than 300 fans from his high school and a capacity crowd in the Jordan Brand Classic at Barclays Center.
Diallo went for 26 points on 12-for-16 shooting and 11 rebounds in a losing effort as the West beat the East, 118-116. Arizona-bound guard Allonzo Trier poured in 28 points on 11-for-16 shooting for the West. To read more of this story, click here
With the NCAA contact period kicking off today, here’s an early look at this weekend’s recruiting visits. This list was compiled via sources and reports from Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com and Alex Kline of The Recruit Scoop. It will be updated throughout the weekend.
**Tyus Battle, the 2016 combo guard from Gladstone (N.J.) Gill St. Bernard’s, takes official visits to Duke April 17-19 and to Louisville April 19-21. More here.
**Cheick Diallo of Our Savior New American is tentatively slated to have home visits this weekend with Kansas coach Bill Self and St. John’s coach Chris Mullin, per sources.
**Brandon Ingram of Kinston (N.C.) met with Duke coaches Friday morning and will meet with Kentucky coaches Friday night, according to Ben Roberts. He’s also scheduled to host Kansas (Saturday), N.C. State (Monday) and North Carolina (Wednesday) next, per Roberts.
**Drexel transfer Damion Lee visits Arizona April 17-19 and Louisville April 19-21. More here.
**Arizona also hosts San Francisco grad transfer Mark Tollefsen.
**College of Southern Idaho power forward Ray Kasongo visits Mississippi State beginning Friday. More here.
**Mike Thorne, the 6-11 Charlotte transfer, visits Illinois this weekend and will also see Kentucky and Kansas. More here.
**Alabama transfer Ricky Tarrant visits Memphis, sources confirmed.
**Rutgers transfer Junior Etou and Robert Morris transfer Marcquise Reed visit Tulsa, sources confirmed.
**T.J. Gibbs, the 2016 Seton Hall Prep shooting guard, visits Oklahoma beginning Friday.
To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK –– In what may be a growing trend among elite college basketball prospects, Malik Newman doesn’t plan on signing a National Letter of Intent after he picks his college.
“No, I don’t plan on signing one,” the 6-foot-4 guard from Jackson (MS) Callaway told SNY.tv Wednesday morning at the Jordan Brand Classic practice. “I just feel like it’s not really a need to sign one, so I don’t want to stress myself about signing.”
Stephen Zimmerman, the 7-footer from Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman, has also said he won’t sign an NLI, and Cal-bound big man Ivan Rabb has yet to sign his NLI as well.
Wednesday is the first day of the NCAA late signing period, but Newman, who is considering six schools, has no timetable on making a decision.
“Whenever it feels right,” he said. To read more of this story, click here
Adam Zagoria and Josh Newman deliver another episode of The 4 Quarters Podcast, covering college hoops and recruiting for SNY.tv. First up, Jonathan Givony from DraftExpress.com calls in to talk about the big names in the upcoming NBA Draft, and then Adam and Josh take a spin on the coaching carousel. Later, the guys cover all the prospects in this week’s Jordan Brand Classic, and then talk to Christ the King head coach Joe Arbitello and star guard Rawle Alkins about recruiting and St. John’s.
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1st Quarter: Jonathan Givony from DraftExpress.com (01:00)
2nd Quarter: The Coaching Carousel (22:50)
3rd Quarter: Jordan Brand Classic (27:45)
4th Quarter: Joe Arbitello & Rawle Alkins (35:35)
Overtime: St. John’s (43:00)
E-Mail us with feedback, comments, or questions for a future show: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a fluid list of Early Entrant candidates for the 2015 NBA Draft based on various sources, interviews and media reports.
The NBA’s Early Entry eligibility deadline is April 26. The NBA will release its official list of Early Entry Draft after that.
If you have tips on other players,
Tweet them to me here: To read more of this story, click here
UConn has landed Cornell transfer Shonn Miller and he will be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer, according to The Hartford Courant and other outlets.
The 6-foot-7 Miller averaged 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds last season and was selected first-team All-Ivy League.
Miller missed his junior season after offseason shoulder surgery.
“I just felt accepted from the first moment I stepped up here,” Miller told The Courant. “I felt like part of the family. I just got a good vibe from the whole situation.”
UConn also had 6-1 2016 guard Alterique Gilbert of Lithonia, Ga., on campus this weekend.
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