09/23/2009 2:42 PM ET
A breakdown of the top NY area prepsters
Eight players look to make a splash in recruiting
By Adam Zagoria / SNY.tv
Forward Tobias Harris' top three schools appear to be UConn, Kentucky and Syracuse. (AP)

From John Calipari to Mike Krzyzewski to Jim Calhoun, the biggest names in college coaching have been beating a path to the doors of some of the top high school basketball players in the New York metropolitan area.

The NCAA contact period runs from Sept. 9 until Oct. 5, so college coaches use this time to watch prospects during open gyms and to make their recruiting pitches to kids and their parents during home visits.

This is the critical period when relationships can be made or broken and future NCAA championships can be determined.

Players can then take up to five official visits to campus leading up to the NCAA early signing period Nov. 11-18.

Here is a breakdown of eight New York-area players, who are among the top 150 in the nation and how their recruitments are shaping up.

Tobias Harris, 6-8 F, Dix Hills (N.Y.) Half Hollow Hills West

Ranked No. 5 nationally by Rivals.com

After UConn's Calhoun comes in Thursday, the Harris family will have hosted an impressive 11 home visits, including Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, St. John's, Syracuse, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Torrel Harris, Tobias' father, says the family is looking for a program that will emphasize the "point forward" position and allow Tobias to prepare for a potential career at the next level.

In the coming days, Tobias will cut his list down and then take his official visits. Look for UConn, Kentucky and Syracuse to be three of the schools in the mix down the stretch.

Kyrie Irving, 6-2 PG, Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick

Rivals rank: No. 9

Irving's recruitment took a stunning turn in recent days when ZagsBlog.com first reported that Indiana, once thought to have a good chance of landing the talented point guard, is now out of the mix.

Irving's final five schools are now set, and he will visit Duke (Sept. 25), Texas A&M (Oct. 9), Kentucky (Oct. 15) Georgia Tech (Oct. 23) and then Seton Hall (Oct. 30).

Duke remains the favorite and Irving could wind up making a verbal commitment during his visit this weekend.

"It is very appealing what they offer," said Drederick Irving, Kyrie's father and a former player at Boston University.

"It's a great academic institution that offers great athletics," Drederick Irving said. "You get the best of both worlds. That reflects what I represent and what Kyrie represents but we're still trying to be objective about it because there are still other elite schools that offer that academic excellence."

Doron Lamb, 6-4 G, Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy

Rivals rank: No. 21

The Queens native plays at the prep basketball factory that produced NBA players Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Jennings.

Coaches from Kansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, UConn and St. John's have traveled to Oak Hill to meet with Lamb. Kentucky's Calipari has been to the home to meet with Lamb's parents.

"From what I've heard him say, I think his top three would be Kansas, Oklahoma and the next one I couldn't tell you. It was Kentucky. But they haven't been in here to see him yet," Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said.

He added: "I think Doron wants to sign early."

Jayvaughn Pinkston, 6-6 F, Brooklyn Bishop Loughlin

Rivals rank: No. 67

St. John's would love to keep Pinkston, now the top player in New York City, home for college, but Villanova coach Jay Wright is making a hard push after a home visit on Tuesday.

"[Coach Wright] talked about how Jay would fit in and what they're doing," said Kimani Young of the New Heights AAU program for which Pinkston plays. "He talked about the success he's had with guys from New York City, Allan Ray, Curtis Sumpter, Jason Fraser, and now with Corey Fisher and Antonio Pena."

St. John's, Tennessee, Marquette and Seton Hall are also actively recruiting Pinkston. Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez is due for an in-home visit Tuesday, and Marquette head coach Buzz Williams comes in Sept. 30. Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl flew up to New York in a private jet just to watch Pinkston for one day this summer at at event at St. John's.

Rod Odom, 6-8 F, Concord (Mass.) Middlesex School

Rivals rank: No. 88

An ultra-long small forward with skill and tremendous upside, Odom, a Long Island native, took his first official to Arizona last weekend.

The connection?

Arizona assistant Book Richardson is a New York native who coached the Gauchos AAU program, which featured Lamb.

"Rod had a great visit to Arizona. They are a serious contender," said New York Panthers coach Gary Charles.

Odom will take an official to Harvard this weekend and then Boston College Oct. 3.

Vanderbilt and West Virginia are also in the mix.

J.J. Moore, 6-5 WF, South Kent (Conn.)

Rivals rank: No. 107

The Brentwood, N.Y., native recently cut his list to four schools: St. John's, Louisville, Florida and Pittsburgh.

Moore will tentatively visit Louisville (Oct. 16) and Florida (Oct. 23). He has already taken unofficial visits to St. John's and Pittsburgh.

"I think he can be really good," said South Kent coach Kelvin Jefferson. "He's got great size, a great physique. He's very athletic and he can shoot the ball. He can do a lot of different things. He can finish around the rim. He can catch off penetration and make threes."

Shane Southwell, 6-6 SF, Rice

Rivals rank: No. 123

The Rice forward will take an official visit this weekend to Kansas State, which is the leader at this point.

The Kansas State roster also includes 6-8 former Rice and UConn player Curtis Kelly, and 7-foot Port Chester native Jordan Henriquez.

"He's going to Kansas State [on Thursday]," said Gauchos coach Dwayne Mitchell. "He's going to see what it's like. You've got a couple New York kids out there. We'll see if it opens up the door and see if it makes sense for him."

Devon Collier, 6-7 F, Jersey City St. Anthony

Rivals rank: No. 134

The talented left-hander from The Bronx could easily wind up in the Big East since his final six schools are Seton Hall, St. John's, Rutgers, Providence, Oregon State and Maryland.

Providence appears to be the leader since Collier visited the campus unofficially over the summer and recently had an in-home with head coach Keno Davis and assistant coach Pat Skerry.

He also unofficially visited St. John's and Seton Hall. St. John's Roberts has been to the home and Seton Hall's Gonzalez comes in Monday for a home visit.

Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson, the brother-in-law of President Barack Obama, is coming to St. Anthony on Friday to see both Collier and his 6-7 teammate Ashton Pankey.

Adam Zagoria is a regular contributor to SNY.tv. Read his blog at ZagsBlog.com.
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