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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 / August 20.
  • Chandler, Lawrence Updates; Mason Jr. & Mom Have Special Bond; Iona, Fordham Notes

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    Here’s are a few links and notes on local schools St. John’s, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Iona and Fordham with tomorrow’s tipoffs looming…

    **I wrote a feature for SNY on Anthony Mason Jr. and his relationship with his “best friend,” his mother Monica Bryant. Check it out here.

    **Rutgers sophomore guard Corey Chandler will be dressed and available to play in Friday night’s season opener against Marist at the RAC, according to sources close to the situation. It has yet to be decided whether he will actually play.

    Chandler sat out an exhibition game Monday against Caldwell with “personal issues.”

    “Corey has some personal issues that he’s going through and we anticipate that he’ll get those things cleared away and we can’t wait until we get him back,” Rutgers head coach Fred Hill said Monday night.

    **At Seton Hall, the school has yet to submit a waiver for junior transfer Keon Lawrence, but appears to be getting closer to doing so.

    “They didn’t file it yet,” said Alif Muhammad, Lawrence’s adviser. “I’m going up there today to take some more info about his family. They’re really waiting on me. I hope they file it by Monday.”

    Lawrence, who transferred from Missouri due to a rash of problems I detailed in an earlier story you can read here, could become eligible in December for the Big East schedule.

    That would be a stroke of good news for Seton Hall, which has lately gotten bad news when Arsalan Kazemi picked Rice, Karron Johnson chose Oklahoma State and Dominic Cheek crossed the Pirates off his list.

    **Iona signed 6-9, 240-pound big man Chris Pelcher out of Albany Academy.

    “We are very excited to have Chris join our program,” Iona coach Kevin Willard said. “Chris is not only an excellent player but also an excellent student-athlete. His toughness and skills are a perfect fit for what we need next year.”

    Pelcher is a two-sport standout who lettered for three years in football and basketball. He averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds last year. ESPNU ranks him as the 45th center prospect.

    **Over at Fordham, the Rams got NLIs from 6-3 wing Lance Brown of Paterson Catholic and 6-7 forward Chris Gaston of New Hampton (N.H.), who recently helped the Playaz Seniors win is8.

    Fordham opens Friday against Columbia (which then plays at Seton Hall Sunday) and then plays at Villanova Monday. Look for freshman point guard Jio Fontan of St. Anthony (pictured) to make an immediate impact. Former St. Anthony teammate Alberto Estwick should also see some major minutes.

    “Our new guys will receive a lot of minutes,” Fordham coach Dereck Whittenburg said. “Freshman Jio Fontan will be our starter at point guard and is up to the challenge. I like that these guys are competitive and understand what it takes to win. Winning means a lot to them and build well for our psyche. Winning will bring a level of confidence that will help our team thoughout the season.

    “We have some experience coming back as well. Herb Tanner (Boston, MA/Catholic Memorial/Stoneridge) will be better. His attitude is better and he will be in the starting lineup. Chris Bethel (Bronx, NY/St. Raymond’s) is another guy who has a lot of potential and will make an impact after sitting out the second half of last season. Hopefully the returning guys who still have something to prove and the younger guys can come together and mix well.

    Jacob Green (Clinton, MD/Gonzaga) the 6’11’ transfer from West Virginia is a good athlete and can really help us out. He’ll be ready to play in December right after exams. Jacob can block shots, rebound, score a little bit and gives us a presence down low.”

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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.