James Young to the NBA Draft

Young_James_2013-14By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG

James Young became the first Kentucky domino to fall as the school announced on Thursday afternoon that the freshman wing would enter the NBA Draft after just one season in Lexington.

A 6-foot-7 native of Rochester Hills, Mich., Young is the first Wildcat underclassman to declare for the draft. Fellow-freshman Julius Randle has not officially declared, but is expected to, while sophomore big man Willie Cauley-Stein announced he will return to school for his junior season. 

“He is one of the best shooters in the draft,” a veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “He is To read more of this story, click here

Chase Jeter Cuts List

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By JACK LeGWIN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

Chase Jeter has cut his list to six schools.

“Kansas, Oregon, UNLV, Duke, UCLA, Arizona. Planning on a commitment before July. Thank you to all the schools who’ve recruited me,” Jeter tweeted Thursday. 

Jeter, the No. 20 ranked player in the class of 2015 by 247 sports, stands at 6-foot-10 and is one of the best big man prospects in the West. 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

Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker Await Harrison Twins Decision, Will Fight for Starting Roles

Tyler UlisBy JOHN PAVIA

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK – With Willie Cauley-Stein‘s recent decision to return to Kentucky and put off the NBA Draft for at least another year, the focus has shifted to Andrew and Aaron Harrison as they look to make their decision in the near future. Their respective decisions will affect the two guards committed to play at Kentucky next year, Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker, both of whom are in town for Friday evening’s Jordan Brand Classic at Barclays Center.

The Harrisons started at point guard and shooting guard, respectively, this season for coach John Calipari‘s Wildcats as they made a run to the national championship game against Connecticut as the eighth seed in the Midwest Region. To read more of this story, click here

Duke “Four Quarters” Recruiting Class Eyeing Championship With or Without Jabari

DukesBy BEN BASKIN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK —  The No. 1 recruiting class in the nation officially has a nickname.

The Duke Blue Devils much-heralded quartet of center Jahlil Okafor (No. 1 on ESPN Top 100), point guard Tyus Jones (No. 4), small forward Justise Winslow (No. 15), and shooting guard Grayson Allen (No. 21) —all of whom are in New York for Friday’s Jordan Brand Classic — have taken to calling themselves the “Four Quarters.”  And they say they are ready to prove why there is all this hype mounting around them.

“I know right after the championship game ended all these polls came out with really early preseason ranking for next year and we were either 1 or 2 or 3,” Allen said after practice Wednesday afternoon at Basketball City in downtown Manhattan. “So I know the expectations are really high and I think that us as a class we can definitely live up to that.” To read more of this story, click here

Ahmed Hill Decommits from Marquette

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By JACK LeGWIN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

Ahmed Hill has decommitted from Marquette, and has reopened his recruitment.

The No. 60 ranked player in the class of 2014 by 247Sports put out a tweet with a note explaining the reasoning behind his decision to decommit from Marquette.

Hill previously held offers from Marquette, Missouri, Clemson, UConn, Florida, Florida State, UGA, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Indiana, Miami, BlYdG7ICQAAxkDhMississippi State, N.C. State, Ole Miss, Texas, Villanova, Virginia Tech, VCU, Tennessee and South Carolina before he pulled the trigger for Marquette.

Blair (N.J.) Academy wing Marial Shayok also decommitted from Marquette and remains open.

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Daniel Hamilton Wants Good Friend DeAndre Daniels to Stay at UConn

DANIELHAMILTON_150_6_29By BEN BASKIN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK – Daniel Hamilton is long and lanky — almost as if he has been stretched out with a rolling pin — which is an asset that one cannot teach.

He is one-third of the NCAA champion UConn Huskies’ 2014 recruiting class that also includes junior college guard Sam Cassell Jr. and N.C. state transfer Rodney Purvis. 

As the eighth ranked shooting guard in the country, Hamilton is the only UConn recruit on ESPN’s Top 100 list (30th) and the only member of the class invited to New York this week for the Jordan Brand Classic.   And even though Hamilton has not formally signed a Letter of Intent, UConn fans should not be worried.

“I’m most definitely going to go to UConn— 100 percent,” Hamilton said after practice Wednesday afternoon at Basketball City in Manhattan. “I’m real anxious [to get out to UConn] , especially after they won that championship.” To read more of this story, click here

No Announcement Expected from Jabari Parker Wednesday

parkerJabari Parker will not announce his future plans on Wednesday, Duke basketball associate director of sports information Matt Plizga confirmed to SNY.tv Tuesday night.

The Chicago Tribune reported the development earlier in the day.

Plizga said reporters in Oklahoma City “misconstrued [Parker's] comments” Monday when he said he would meet this week with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and then decide whether or not to enter the NBA Draft. To read more of this story, click here

Devonte’ Graham Down to Five Schools; Three Visits Set

grahamBrewster (N.H.) Academy point guard Devonte’ Graham is down to five schools and has three visits set.

Brewster coach Jason Smith Tweeted that Graham is considering Kansas, N.C. State, Virginia, Providence, and Virginia Tech.

Graham, who was recently granted a release from Appalachian State, has visits set to Kansas (April 18-19), N.C. State (April 20-21) and Virginia (April 25-26).

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Kansas to Start Recruiting Tyus Battle; Ohio State, Virginia Due in Next Week

BattleAdd Kansas to the list of high-major programs who will be recruiting 2016 Gill St. Bernard’s guard Tyus Battle.

Kansas assistant Norm Roberts called Gary Battle, the player’s father, and told him he would be watching Tyus later this month and this summer.

“He told me he’s gonna be really looking forward to seeing him over the summer,” Gary said.

Battle is running this summer with Team Scan on the Nike EYBL circuit, alongside 2015 forwards Cheick Diallo and Thomas Bryant. To read more of this story, click here