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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / December 10.
  • Cheek Has Long List; Sunday Smorgasbord

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    Dominic_cheek_playazJustin Young of Rivals chimes in from the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions with a few recruiting nuggets of local interest. Dominic Cheek, a 6-foot-5 wing from St. Anthony of Jersey City, had 17 points in victory over the Illinois Wolves Saturday.



    Cheek told Rivals he’s “hearing from a new school just about every day.” He said he’s interested in Villanova, Wake Forest, Kansas, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Florida, UConn, Texas and Maryland.



    Many had assumed Cheek would end up at North Carolina, but the Tar Heels pulled back to focus on Lance Stephenson and Nolan Dennis. Now the perception is that Villanova is the leader, but it’s too early to really tell where Cheek might end up.





    **Cheek’s Playaz teammate Brian Oliver of Oak Hill had 15 points in the victory against the Wolves, and said his top five includes Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Miami, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. He plans to visit the Yellow Jackets on June 20, leaving Miami as the only school he has yet to see in person.



    **Playaz guard Sherrod Wright of Mount Vernon High also told Rivals he is open in his recruitment and is considering Virginia, Georgia Tech, Xavier, UMass, Connecticut, Marquette, Florida, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Kansas and Temple.



    **James Padgett, a 6-7, 210-pound forward from Brooklyn Lincoln, says he’s heard from Providence, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, St. John’s and Kentucky.



    “He’s getting better and better,” Tiny Morton, Padgett’s high school and AAU coach, told Rivals. “He was too skinny to do much down low and now he’s getting bigger and better. His footwork is getting better. He’s getting stronger. He just knows how to play basketball better now.”



    Caracter**Steve Politi has an interesting column today on the sad, downward spiral of Derrick Caracter, who was ruled academically ineligible at Louisville last week and whose future remains in serious doubt.



    “I don’t think he was allowed to be a child,” said St. Anthony of Jersey City coach Bob Hurley, who watched Caracter play for the Jersey City Boys and Girls Club. “All of this attention comes too soon. I’ve been doing this for 35 years. Unless a kid is 6-10 or taller, how could you possibly know what you have?”



    **Finally, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at the commencement today of my alma mater, Wesleyan University. Obama is pinch-hitting for Ted Kennedy and should go over very well at Wes, a famously liberal school in Middletown, Conn.



    “Everyone found out at the same time after we put it on our Web page,” Holly Wood (yes, but she’s actually just a working-class kid from the Poconos), co-founder of a widely read student blog, Wesleying (, told the New York Times. “I got out of my car and everyone was screaming, and my phone went off and someone told me, and I screamed. I called my mom, and she screamed. It was like this relay effect of people on the campus, all screaming.”


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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.