In Summer of the Garden State, New Jersey Stars Battle, Briscoe Win Gold

Battle USAAfter winning two gold medals and the Peach Jam this summer, New Jersey’s top prep hoops stars can lay claim to being among the best in the nation.

Tyus Battle, the 6-foot-5 combo guard from Edison (N.J.) Gill St. Bernard’s, won a gold medal Saturday with the U.S. U17 team at the U17 World Championship in Dubai.

“When I heard the buzzer go off, I went crazy,” Battle said after the USA beat Australia, 99-92, in the gold medal game. “It was a hard-fought game and Australia was a really good team and I’m just so happy we pulled it out.”

In June, Isaiah Briscoe, the 6-3 point guard from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, also won gold at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Colorado Springs, CO. To read more of this story, click here

Nike Global Challenge Notebook: Stephen Zimmerman Steals the Show in Chicago; Brunson, Hogg Lead All-Tourney team

ZimmermanBY NICK MEDLINE

SPECIAL TO ZAGSBLOG

CHICAGO— Stephen Zimmerman stole the show on Saturday at the Nike Global Challenge.

The Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman center was — almost undoubtedly — the most valuable player at the event. He averaged 17.5 points and 11.5 rebounds while shooting 63 percent from the floor over four games. He also led Team USA West to an undefeated run, winning the championship against USA East.

Zimmerman also earned praise from teammate Tyler Davis, who talked about how easy it was to play alongside Zimmerman because of his solid, vocal play. Zimmerman earned the MVP honors. He showed up and competed, and for all of the criticisms he faces, no one could guard him. With five officials and six in-homes lined up, he’ll soon be ready to make a team better. To read more of this story, click here

NBA Scout: Kentucky’s Towns Could Be In Mix For No. 1 Pick, Cats’ 2nd Five Better Than Most Teams’ 1st

Just how good is this Kentucky team that features nine McDonald’s All-Americans and has gone 5-0 on its trip to the Bahamas with one game remaining?

One veteran NBA scout who has watched the games told SNY.tv that freshman big man Karl Anthony-Towns of New Jersey could be in the mix for the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and that Kentucky’s second five is better than a lot of teams’ first five.

“They are loaded,” the scout said of Kentucky. “It will be hard not to see them playing in the [NCAA] championship game in April of 2015. Their second five may be better than most of the teams they have on their schedule.”

Through the first four games of the Bahamas trip, Kentucky played 10 different players — 10 — at least 18 minutes a game and none averaged more than 20. To read more of this story, click here

Malik Newman Leads USA U17s to Gold Medal, Draws Comparisons to Bradley Beal

Malik all-tourneyMalik Newman was named MVP of the FIBA U17 World Championship and his potential future college teammate Diamond Stone also made the All-Tournament Team Saturday as the USA beat Australia, 99-92, in the gold medal game in Dubai.

The 6-foot-4 Newman from Jackson (MS) Calloway went for 21 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists in the win. Jayson Tatum added 15 points and Harry Giles and Josh Jackson both scored 13 points.

Coach Don Showalter won his third consecutive U17 gold medal. To read more of this story, click here

Tyler Davis Stars at Global Challenge; Plans trips to Baylor, Texas A&M

BY NICK MEDLINE

SPECIAL TO ZAGSBLOG 

CHICAGO — Tyler Davis plans to visit Baylor and Texas A&M this fall, he told SNY.tv on Friday at the Nike Global Challenge.

The Plano (TX) center also said he might travel to Arizona for its Red and Blue Game. He added that his mom likely planned his visit to Kansas, which was reported Thursday.

With his decision wide open — and other schools still in consideration — Davis wants to evaluate each school over the fall without any hurry. To read more of this story, click here

Tyler Dorsey Cuts to 10 Schools

Tyler DorseyFormer Arizona commit Tyler Dorsey cut his list to 10 schools late Friday.

The 6-foot-5 2015 lead guard from Los Angeles St. John Bosco has narrowed his list to Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, Oregon, St. John’s, UConn and UNLV.

He will visit Oregon officially Sept. 5-7 and  Kansas officially for “Late Night in the Phog” Oct. 10-12. To read more of this story, click here

USA U17s to Play Australia for Gold Medal on Saturday

USAThe USA U17 team will play Australia for the gold medal in the U17 World Championships on Saturday in Dubai.

The game will be shown live by ESPN3 at 1 p.m. ET, and will be rebroadcast at 10 p.m. on ESPNU.

“It’s great,” said 2016 guard Tyus Battle of Gill St. Bernard’s in New Jersey after putting up 11 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals in an 89-68 semifinal win over Serbia. “We’re going to the gold medal game. It should be a lot of fun and hopefully we’ll bring the gold medal back to the United States. To read more of this story, click here

Zimmerman & Davis Combine as Dominant Post Duo at Global Challenge; Brunson, Kennard, Falzon Impress

BY NICK MEDLINE

SPECIAL TO ZAGSBLOG

CHICAGO — The perfect combination of big men highlighted Friday afternoon action at the Nike Global Challenge.

Stephen Zimmerman and Tyler Davis combined to make an excellent duo. Zimmerman — who recently lined up his home visits — lived up to his promise with 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting, making several difficult buckets. That coupled well with the strong physical play of Davis — who continues to be a riser in the class of 2015. “It makes the game easier, the way [Zimmerman] talks, it’s easier for me to play down low. It makes it fun,” the 6-9 Davis from Plano (TX) Liberty told SNY.tv. The Plano (TX) center also said he’ll visit Texas A&M and Baylor, with a likely trip to Arizona for the Red and Blue Game. Many have reported that he’s traveling to Kansas this fall. Davis was unaware but assumes that his mom planned the trip. To read more of this story, click here

Indiana Set to Host Power Forwards Kasongo, Holt

Following its summer trip to Canada, Indiana will get back to work on the recruiting front by hosting a pair of in-play power forwards beginning early next week.

Former Oregon commit Ray Kasongo arrives in Bloomington Sunday night and Vermont Academy’s Emmitt Holt is due in on Tueday.

“We obviously want him at Vermont Academy as a 2015, but if IU is lucky enough to land Emmitt, they will get a young man who will help them win games,” Vermont Academy coach Alex Popp told SNY.tv

“Recruiting rankings don’t matter once the games start. Wins and losses do.” To read more of this story, click here