ARDSLEY, N.Y. — A few tweets sent three weeks ago, and another college basketball package deal was born.
Isaiah Whitehead (Lincoln High/Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Ja’Quan Newton (Neumann-Goretti/Philadelphia, Pa.) initially confirmed the rumors to Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports on June 28. Following the first July live period this weekend, Whitehead continued to fuel the fire of the package deal that would send two top-50 players to one school’s backcourt.
“We’re just talking about it,” Whitehead told NBC Sports at the BasketBull Summer Championships on Saturday. “We’re serious, but we haven’t pictured ourselves at a school, actually play together.”
The duo both hold offers from Georgetown, Minnesota, Rutgers and Syracuse. As Borzello mentioned in June, Richard Pitino and his staff have made an effort to recruit the northeast and it appears it is paying off for the Golden Gophers
“I’m taking [my official visits] after the live period,” Whitehead said.
As for taking any official visits with Newton?
“Possibly Minnesota,” Whitehead answered.
Whitehead, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard is ranked as the No. 17 overall player in the Class of 2014 by Rivals while the Newton, the 6-foot-2 point guard, is listed as the No. 41 by the same site. Both have a wide-open recruitment, and Whitehead said has no interest in cutting down his list of offers.
If this package deal were to become a reality, it will likely happen sooner rather than later.
“I’ll probably commit early in my senior year,” Whitehead said. “Probably like September.”
Though Whitehead says the talks with him and Newton are serious, he did tell NBC Sports that the school would have to be the right fit for both. He listed UCLA as school they are both interested in — however, Newton is still waiting for an offer from the Bruins.
This weekend athe BasketBull Summer Championships, St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin and an assistant were in attendance to watch Whitehead play with the Juice All-Stars (N.Y.). Lavin had a front-row seat to watch Whitehead score an easy 25 points in a win Saturday afternoon. St. John’s has yet to offer Newton, as well.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne