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

7-Footer Okoroh Changes Twitter Commitment to Cal from Tennessee After Cuonzo Martin Is Hired

It isn’t often that  you see a basketball player commit to two different schools in two days on Twitter.

But that’s exactly what 7-foot-1 Kingsley Okoroh of Phoenix (AZ) Westwind Prep did.

On Monday, Okoroh announced via Twitter, “Just committed to the university of Tennessee! Can’t wait to play in the SEC next year.”

Okoroh then proceeded to retweet a lot of people congratulating him on Twitter for his decision.

Yet that didn’t last long. To read more of this story, click here

Towns Says Cauley-Stein Can Help Kentucky Do ‘Something Special’

Towns 3Karl-Anthony Towns admits to being a little “surprised” that Kentucky sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein is returning to campus next season, but he says the team can do special things.

“A little surprised but happy he will be coming back to help us do something special,” the 7-foot Towns told SNY.tv.

“It will be a blast playing with him.”

Coming off an appearance in the NCAA championship game, Kentucky will have a crowded frontcourt next season, with as many as seven players vying for playing time.

In addition to Cauley-Stein, fellow junior Alex Poythress could return, alongside sophomores-to-be Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee and Derek Willis and the freshmen Towns and Trey Lyles.

Towns and Lyles will be teammates in the Jordan Brand Classic on Friday at the Barclays Center. Check back here later this week for stories and video interviews from Jordan.

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JUCO Guard McLean Courted by Mizzou, Fordham, St. John’s

GioBy ZACH SMART

Special to ZAGSBLOG

Giovanni McLean’s prodigious handle and ability to pilot a team has allowed his stock to balloon the past three months.

The 6-foot-1 guard is suddenly a sought after product on the recruiting agora. A sophomore at Westchester Community College, where he averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 assists, and five boards to help the Vikes (28-4) earn their first NCAA tournament berth since 1996 this season, McLean has been receiving steady interest from Missouri, Texas State, Eastern Illinois, St. John’s, Fordham, Oklahoma, Memphis, Virginia Tech, Quinnipiac and Duquesne.

While Fordham and St. John’s have been making a late push, according WCC head coach Tyrone Mushatt, Mizzou and Eastern Illnois may have the upper hand in McLean’s pursuit.

“Right now, I like Mizzou a lot,” said McLean, who spent a lot of time at Missouri’s campus while he was playing at Moberly Area Community in Moberly, Mo. To read more of this story, click here

2015 Guard Franklin Howard to Syracuse

Franklin Howard, a 6-foot-4 2015 combo guard from Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI and Team Takeover, committed to Syracuse on his 17th birthday.

Howard also considered Maryland, Georgetown, Ohio State, Virginia and N.C. State.

He missed this past season after undergoing ACL surgery last summer.

“Frank is on his way to full recovery from ACL last July,” Paul VI coach Glen Farello told SNY.tv. “Frank’s got the combination of skill, IQ and competitiveness that coaches appreciate. The kid is a winner. And he will be even more hungry coming back. To read more of this story, click here

USF Hires Antigua, Strickland, Opening Up Spot at Seton Hall

OliverNew South Florida coach Orlando Antigua officially added his brother Oliver Antigua and Rod Strickland to his staff on Monday, thereby opening up a spot on Kevin Willard’s staff at Seton Hall.

SNY.tv reported April 4 that this was in the works.

Seton Hall can now move Lincoln High School coach Dwyane “Tiny” Morton into the open spot on the coaching staff, assuming Willard opts to do so. Morton coached both Isaiah Whitehead and Desi Rodriguez at Lincoln.

“Oliver is a terrific recruiter and coaches with great energy and passion which will benefit us here at USF,” Orlando Antigua said. “He helped assemble a recruiting class at Seton Hall that was ranked No. 10 in the nation and No. 1 in the Big East Conference.” To read more of this story, click here

Arizona’s Gordon, Johnson to Announce for Draft

GordonArizona freshman forward Aaron Gordon and junior guard Nick Johnson will declare for the NBA Draft during a press conference Tuesday at the school, sources told SNY.tv.

The 6-foot-9 Gordon is projected as the No. 8 pick by DraftExpress.com, while the 6-2 Johnson is projected at 48.

Gordon averaged 12.4 points and 8.0 rebounds, while Johnson led the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game.

“Gordon is a great athlete,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “He’s not a 3, but an energy guy who needs to become a more skilled perimeter player. He has good upside and will be a backup to start his NBA career. To read more of this story, click here

Duke’s Jabari Parker to Make Decision Wednesday


ParkerJabari Parker
plans to “set up an appointment” with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski when he returns to Durham, N.C., on Tuesday and he will decide Wednesday whether to declare for the NBA Draft or return to college for his sophomore year.

The Associated Press reported the news Monday. The 6-foot-8 Parker is currently in Oklahoma City to accept the Wayman Tisdale Award as college basketball’s top freshman. To read more of this story, click here

Michigan State’s Gary Harris Will Enter the NBA Draft

By JOHN PAVIA

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Photo via: msuspartans.com

Special to ZAGSBLOG

Michigan State sophomore guard Gary Harris has declared for the 2014 NBA Draft today, first reported by Gary Parrish.

“I’d like to thank everyone at MSU for their incredible support,” Harris stated. “Coach [Tom] Izzo, Coach [Dwayne] Stephens, Coach [Dane] Fife and Coach [Mike Garland] have all taught me so much about basketball, but also helped me develop as a man. But it’s not just the coaches. Everyone around the program, and throughout the university, has made this an amazing two years. It’s the reason that I plan to complete my Michigan State degree down the road. To read more of this story, click here

Cauley-Stein Returning to Kentucky for 2014-15 Season

Cauley Stein

By JACK LeGWIN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

Willie Cauley-Stein has announced that he will return to Kentucky for his junior year.

The big man tweeted Monday evening: “I’m proud to say I’m coming back for my junior year. I still have an empty spot to fulfill and in no rush to leave the best fans in the USA!”

Cauley-Stein averaged 6.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in his second year playing for the Wildcats, before having to sit out of the Final Four with an injured ankle.

“I want to come back and have a chance to win a national championship, while also getting closer to earning my degree,” Cauley-Stein said. “Being at the Final Four this year was special, but not being able to help my teammates on the floor was tough. I look forward to helping us get back there next year, while playing in front of the best fans in the nation.” To read more of this story, click here