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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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Saturday / April 21.
  • Seton Hall Beats Rutgers to Complete Sweep; Priceless Gonzo Quotes

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    PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The enduring image in the latest Battle for New Jersey bragging rights will be of Seton Hall guard Jeremy Hazell racing downcourt unguarded and slamming home a couple of two-handed dunks in the final minutes.

    Hazell had two breakaway jams off Rutgers turnovers and finished with a game-high 21 points as Seton Hall beat Rutgers for a second time this season, 65-60, before 6,504 mostly red-clad fans at the RAC. It was the first sweep for either Garden State school since the Pirates won both in the 2003-04 season.

    Read the full story here.

    **And check out these priceless quotes from Gonzo below.

    Like most people, when Bobby Gonzalez wins, he’s happy.  Check out these priceless quotes in the wake of Sunday’s 65-60 victory over Rutgers at the RAC. It was Seton Hall’s second win over RU this season and marked the first sweep for either team in five years:

    “It’s huge because we were 0-6. You guys are looking for a plane crash so you can count the bodies. The sky was falling when you’re 0-6. To turn around and win four in a row, it’s great. It’s great for recruiting. It’s great for the kids.”

    Gonzo on the media and the winning streak.

    “I know that everybody kind of sees me as kind of a lightning rod or a lightning bolt. Listen, I respect the other coaches. It’s not personal for me. It wouldn’t matter to me who the coach of St. John’s was and who the coach of Rutgers was. John Thompson years and years ago said a term called ‘competitive hate.’

    “It doesn’t mean you hate somebody. You’re not rooting for somebody to get cancer or somebody to have something bad in their life. It just means you want to win very badly. I’m extremely competitive. I want to win when we play St. John’s. I want to win when we play Rutgers. Some people don’t want to talk about it. They just want to say, ‘Hey, it’s just the same as every other game.’ I’m not that type. I’m straight up. I say what I feel. And in my heart I’m an East Coast guy, I’m a New York guy. I’m in Jersey. I want to beat St. John’s. I want to beat Rutgers. I want to get players from the East Coast, so these games are very important to me and to our team.

    “We got kids from Brooklyn, New York, New Jersey. I’m sure the coaches feel the same way. They want to beat me bad and I want to beat them bad. But again it’s not personal.”

    Gonzo on the rivalry with Rutgers and St. John’s.

    “John Garcia’s been the key to our season. When we were 8-1 and we beat USC and Virginia Tech, it’s John Garcia that helped us do it. When we lost six out of seven, seven out of eight, I’m not going to say it’s totally on John…But John getting hurt and losing our rhythm, we were just a different team. And now he’s starting to get back and get in a rhythm, he’s playing 30 minutes, 32 minutes. He looks pretty good out there. His wind is getting better. He’s the key to our team. If he stays on the court, he’s an anchor.”

    Gonzo on John Garcia.

    “Heather and those guys, we got witch doctors in the corner mixing chemicals. They’re shooting him up with cortisone and all type of stuff. I’ll leave the doctors and the trainers are getting him on one leg…We’re trying to tape him up band-aids and get him through the season.”

    Gonzo on Garcia’s knee and ankle injuries.

    **Check out Steve Politi’s column in The Star-Ledger about Rutgers coach Fred Hill and Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez. Say what you want about Gonzo (and I have), clearly he has achieved more and outcoached Hill thusfar.

    **Louisville survives MSG scare by the Johnnies – Read here.

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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.