Jack crosses UCLA off his list, will announce decision April 28by Javier Morales on Apr. 01, 2010, under Sports
Class of 2010 power forward Kadeem Jack, perhaps the most essential piece to Arizona’s recruiting puzzle, told me today that he has narrowed his choices to Arizona, Miami, UConn and Arkansas, thereby eliminating UCLA from consideration.
“Yeah, I crossed UCLA off my list,” said Jack, a 6-foot-8, 190-pound blooming prospect from Manhattan (N.Y.) Rice High School. “I just decided to narrow it down as I get closer to my decision.”
Jack, who officially visited UA on Jan. 27-28, has yet to visit another campus. He said he has visits remaining at Miami and Arkansas before he makes a decision. He was slated to visit UConn last month but a scheduling conflict forced him to cancel a visit there. UConn coach Jim Calhoun and his staff keep in contact with him.
The spring signing period is from April 14 to May 19.
“I would say they are pretty even, and I won’t announce anything until April 28,” Jack said when asked if there might be a leader among Arizona, Miami, Arkansas and UConn.
However, when asked about what Arizona has to offer, Jack said the Wildcats look very favorable.
“It’s a great situation there for me,” he said. “I can go in there and play right away. I like that a lot.”
Jack, who has played organized basketball for only four years after moving from Trinidad and Tobago, averaged in double figures in points and rebounds and posted at least four blocked shots a game. His presence on the frontcourt would be a necessary element for UA coach Sean Miller in a variety of ways:
- Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Derrick Williams could play more at his customary position at power forward or even wing with Jack manning the blocks.
- The UA’s defense and rebounding inside would improve, forcing teams to take lower percentage shots (players such Washington State’s DeAngelo Casto and Oregon State’s Roeland Schaftenaar would not be as effective, in other words).
- Arizona would get more offensive rebounds and an enhancement of their inside-outside, dribble-drive offense, providing better looks from the perimeter for players such as recent commit Jesse Perry of Logan (Ill.) Junior College and Phoenix North sharpshooter Daniel Bejarano.
Jack, who led Rice to the CHSAA Class AA intersectional boys basketball semifinals last month, is playing in the NIKE/IS8 spring league in New York. He is also scheduled to participate in the Jordan Brand Classic regional game at Madison Square Garden on April 17. He will not participate in the Jordan Brand All-American game, which caps off the day at MSG. He also was not part of the McDonald’s All-American Game festivities, which concluded Wednesday.
He watched the McDonald’s game on television, knowing that he would have fit in with the array of talent.
“I felt like I could have played with most of the guys there,” Jack said, “because I held my own against them this season.”
Jack had 24 points and 20 rebounds this season against Brooklyn (N.Y.) Bishop Loughlin power forward Jayvaughn Pinkston, a Villanova commit who participated in the McDonald’s game. Jack told me his best game, however, was against UA commit Jordin Mayes and Los Angeles Westchester when Rice won 62-44 behind his 31 points and 15 rebounds.
He outplayed the highly touted Dwayne Polee Jr., a Scout.com four-star power forward who had only 13 points against Jack in the game.
“I feel confident playing at the next level,” said Jack, who has entertained the idea of attending a college prepatory school next year instead of playing for a Division I program. “I also feel good about my academics. I have talked to the academic director at Arizona and it was explained to me how great of a learning experience it would be to go to school there.”
With the recent hiring of coaches at St. John’s (Steve Lavin) and Seton Hall (Kevin Willard) it has been reported that Jack might get feelers from these programs, gauging his interest in staying close to home.
“Yeah, I’ve been hearing that too that because these programs have new coaches that they will start to recruit me,” Jack said. “But I have not heard anything from those coaching staffs. It would be pointless for them to start recruiting me at this point anyway because I am too far along (in his decision process).”