SMU joins suitors for N-G's Newton

Posted: October 26, 2012

Ja'Quan Newton received a call from his Neumann-Goretti coach Sunday. Larry Brown would be visiting him at school Monday.

With the visit came a scholarship offer, and Newton became the first area player this year to be targeted by Brown, the former 76ers head coach.

Now in his first year at Southern Methodist, Brown met Newton while he was an unofficial adviser at Villanova. The Wildcats were one of Newton's first offers and they have long been after him.

"At the end of the day, [recruiting] is a business," Newton said. "You have to do what you have to do for your school. I think everyone knows that."

Newton is arguably the city's top player. Last season, he averaged 16 points as a sophomore and led the Saints to the Catholic League and PIAA Class AAA state titles.

He said has so many scholarship offers that he forgets sometimes. Arizona, Georgetown, Temple, Villanova, Wake Forest, Miami, Syracuse, and Seton Hall have all sent letters to his Southwest Philadelphia home.

Newton said he's the best player in the city and listed Vaux's Rysheed Jordan and Imhotep Charter's Brandon Austin in his top three. Austin is on an official visit to Texas.

Newton won't narrow his college choices until after the next AAU season.

If they haven't already, area colleges can list Brown's SMU program as recruiting competition. Brown, who left the Sixers in 2003, took over the Mustangs in April and in June was at Philadelphia University for the Reebok Breakout Challenge to watch a load of local talent.

Newton said he's old enough to remember Brown as a 76ers coach and was "honored" that he visited his school.

He said the 72-year-old Brown was "real." Brown told Newton that his program isn't an easy one to play for and how playing time may work.

"He just told me how he really is," Newton said. "He didn't lie to me or sugarcoat anything."

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