Friday, July 5, 2013
Whitehead adding offers
By Nic Reiner
UPDATE: Four-star guard Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) continues to pick up offers and interest.
Most recently, SNY.tv reports Miami (FL) offered Whitehead and both Arizona and UCLA are now showing interest. New UCLA head coach Steve Alford plans to watch the Brooklyn native in July; Whitehead previously visited UCLA when Ben Howland was head coach.
As mentioned in previous stories, Whitehead plans to visit, Syracuse, Louisville, St. John's, Minnesota, and now UCLA.
From New York City, 2014 four-star guard Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) has been pursued by Syracuse for his entire high school career. The Orange have been and are still the likely frontrunners for the 6-foot-4 combo guard; however, the Cuse are fairly loaded in the backcourt, and by the time Whitehead arrives on campus, Tyler Ennis, Ron Patterson, and Trevor Cooney will likely still be on campus, and while Jim Boeheim has a track record of developing players (even if they have to sit frequently their first season or two), we have to wonder whether Whitehead will be comfortable if he has to take a complementary role. Hometown St. John's has also heavily pursued Whitehead through his process, and landing the Brooklyn-native would be a positive sign for Steve Lavin. The Johnnies are targeting two other Big Apple guards in the 2014 class -- Khadeen Carrington and Mike Williams -- but the thought is that there will be much roster turnover after the 2013-14 season. Recently, though, Louisville has made a strong push.
Ranked No. 35 in the Class of 2014, Whitehead noted in a Courier-Journal interview how big of an impression the Cardinals' success has made on him and considers current senior guard and fellow New York City native Russ Smith a friend and inspiration.
“Louisville is great,” Whitehead said during the NBPA Top 100 camp last weekend. “They just won a national championship. They have a great guard from New York City in Russ.”
Whitehead points specifically to Smith's development under coach Rick Pitino and reveals he's attracted to an environment that fosters growth. He said he's spoken to Smith about Pitino's style of pushing his players, especially on the defensive end.
He plans to visit Syracuse, St. John's, and Louisville before the fall. Minnesota and UCLA are in the mix, as well.