Yacoubou to Villanova; Harris to Announce Next Month; St. John's Hosts Madness


Villanova continues to dip into the rich recruiting waters of the New York metropolitan area for talented guards.

Achraf Yacoubou, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound junior shooting guard from Long Island Lutheran, committed to the Wildcats on Wednesday, the same day Villanova was anointed as the preseason No. 1 team in the Big East Conference for the 2009-10 season.

“I committed to Villanova,” Yacoubou, ranked No. 19 at his position nationally, wrote in a text. “I like the business school, the environment, the team and the coach.”

Yacoubou was also being pursued by Kentucky and UConn, and had visited Kentucky for Big Blue Madness last weekend.

“They are great schools but I’m going to Villanova,” he said.

He plans to visit Villanova this weekend for Hoops Mania.

Villanova has a history under head coach Jay Wright of recruiting and developing talented New York-area guards. The current roster includes Corey Fisher of St. Patrick, Corey Stokes of St. Benedict’s, Dominic Cheek of St. Anthony, as well as Maalik Wayns of Philly Roman Catholic.

Yacoubou is a multidimensional guard with quickness, toughness, an ability to penetrate and a strong outside shot.

“He’s a hard-nosed complete guard in the mold of Randy Foye,” said Randy Harper, Yacoubou’s AAU coach.


Tobias Harris, Yacoubou’s former teammate at Long Island Lutheran, plans to announce his college choice Nov. 19.

“On the 19th we will announce if Tobias is ready,” said his father, Torrel.

The 6-8 Harris out of Dix Hills (N.Y.) Long Island Lutheran has visited Syracuse, Tennessee and Kentucky and is also considering West Virginia, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Maryland.

He will play this coming weekend in the is8 playoffs in Queens with his Unique All-Stars team before visiting Louisville the following weekend. He will wind up his visits at Maryland on Nov. 13 for the season opener.


St. John’s will host it’s Red Storm Tip-Off tonight and will host 6-8 St. Anthony senior forward Devon Collier and 6-7 small forward Will Yeguete of Florida Air Academy on official visits. Numerous other players will also be there for unofficials, including Myles Mack and Derrick Randall of Paterson Catholic; Vaughn Gray of Don Bosco; Sterling Gibbs of Seton Hall Prep; Tyrone Johnson of Plainfield; JayVaughn Pinkston of Bishop Loughlin; Jermaine Sanders and Kadeem Jack of Rice; Davontay Grace of Thomas Jefferson; Ryan Rhoomes of Cardozo; Corey Edwards of Christ the King; and Jerrelle Reischel of Point Pleasant (N.J.) Beach….For more on several of these players, including Edwards and Jack, hit hte Video Player at right for the second part of my interview with Kimani Young of New Heights.


St. Anthony forward Ashton Pankey’s visit to Maryland has been pushed to Nov. 7. He may visit Houston Nov. 14.

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