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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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Tuesday / February 20.
  • Kabongo Recruiting Joseph to Texas; Gilchrist, Pinkston Visit Villanova

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    UNION, N.J. — Two schools in hot pursuit of Cory Joseph squared off on ESPN’s “Big Monday,” with UConn knocking off No. 3 Villanova, 84-75, at the Wachovia Center.

    Joseph, a 6-foot-3 senior guard from Findlay (Nev.) Prep ranked No. 3 among point guards in 2010, was not at the game but he is considering both UConn and Villanova, along with Texas, Minnesota and UNLV.

    “[I’m just gonna commit] whenever I feel 100 percent. . . . I am not sure if I am gonna pick out of the [full list of] five. I have no set time,” Joseph told Alex Schwartz of Rivals.com while playing this past weekend at the Primetime Shootout in Trenton, N.J.

    Also at the Primetime was Joseph’s friend and fellow Canadian, Myck Kabongo, a junior guard at St. Benedict’s Prep.

    Kabongo said he and Tristan Thompson talk to Joseph “every day” about following them to Texas. The 6-8 Thompson, Joseph’s Findlay Prep teammate, has signed with Texas for 2010 and Kabongo is verbally committed for 2011.

    “Every day, every day,” Kabongo said Friday night after dropping 20 points, 12 assists, 5 steals and 5 rebounds in an 82-38 rout of Lakewood at Kean College. “But obviously he’s going to do what’s best for him. That’s what we want. We wouldn’t tell him to come to Texas if it wasn’t best for him. Obviously we know each others’ games well, me, ‘T’ and C.J., so just playing with each other it’s just chemistry right away.”

    Both Thompson and Joseph were recently named McDonald’s All-Americans for the March 31 game in Columbus, Ohio.

    “Obviously, I want to play with C.J.,” Kabongo added. “We want to play with great players, McDonald’s All-Americans. He’s one of the first Canadians to ever play in the game. When you have someone like that that’s very talented, obviously you want to play with him.”

    The three Canadians all played for Ro Russell’s Grassroots Canada club. Thompson and Kabongo were teammates at St. Benedict’s before Thompson was dismissed from the team last year and then transferred to Findlay Prep. Findlay head coach Michael Peck checked with Joseph first before admitting Thompson.

    “We played AAU together so that’s all we always talk about, just playing together,” Kabongo said.

    Joseph has said he doesn’t have a favorite at this point, and that’s what Kabongo believes as well.

    “I don’t think so,” Kabongo said. “He’s just enjoying the process and he’s really taking his time. As soon as he feels 100 percent he told me that’s what he’s gonna do [decide]. Right now he doesn’t have a favorite.”

    GILCHRIST, PINKSTON VISIT NOVA

    PHILADELPHIA — Uncommitted junior Michael Gilchrist of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick and Villanova-bound senior forward JayVaughn Pinkston of Bishop Loughlin both attended the UConn-Villanova game.

    The 6-foot-7 Gilchrist was named co-MVP Friday night when St. Patrick lost to Oak Hill Academy, 79-78, at the PrimeTime Shootout at Kean College. He and Duke-bound guard Kyrie Irving of St. Pat’s both scored 28 points in the loss.

    Gilchrist declined to speak with the media after the game, telling reporters, “I’m good.”

    Villanova and Kentucky lead for Gilchrist, the No. 1 junior in the nation.

    Pinkston was recently named a McDonald’s All-American and is the first player from his high school ever named to the game.

    The Wildcats currently feature five former McDonald’s All-American: Scottie Reynolds, Corey Stokes, Taylor King, Dominic Cheek and Maalik Wayns.

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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.

    • Two things about Texass…

      One:
      YOU are not fooling anybody, AD.
      The WEAKEST scheduling approach by any AD.
      He can fool the football community with those cupcake schedules.
      The AD just wants to be in a position to be in the championship game, in football.
      And then get the A$$ handed to them.
      The funny thing…. I say this in the Heart of Austin with all those UT fans.
      And ALMOST ALL WOULD AGREE.
      Weak, WEAK scheduling.

      MAN UP!

      Two_
      Weak scheduling backfires in Basketball.
      Play Weak Teams and you become SOFT.

      Look at what Barnes is doing….
      So much talent and so little accomplishments.
      Right?

    • Jessie you know nothing about basketball obviously. A non conference of Pitt,UNC,and Mich St. among others is weak scheduling?
      Are you braindead or just blind?
      Way to put your foot in your mouth like you do everyday.
      Please find a new favorite team and website please.

    • It’s hysterical to watch Gilchrist avoid talking to the media after games. He pulls Manny Ramirez’ idiot savant trick.

      Boyle is an absolute hot head, but quotable. The burden somehow winds up on Irving, who is articulate, to have to answer for the entire program.

      As for Joseph, follow the money. Longhorns

      • Gilchrist should go to ‘Nova but will most likely follow the cash and end up with Manchowder at UK.

        Joseph to ‘Nova and it isn’t even that close with the other schools.

    • Jessie, you’re an idiot. While Barnes isn’t considered a great bench coach he is a fantastic recruiter and he does have a Final Four on his resume. There’s no nobility in playing the toughest schedule in the country. I believe your Wildcats have & look where that’s gotten them: probably the NIT.

    • Gilchrist should go to Villanova because they play in a fairly strong conference with plenty of exposure (overexposed, if you ask me). Since Villanova is close to home he would be able to play in front of his friends and family quite frequently. They have a great young coach who isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. While Calipari is also a great coach and gets players to the League, I would say that he’ll always be considered an NBA flight risk.

      As far as Joseph goes, I would be surprised if he doesn’t go to Texas to play with his fellow Canadians. Barnes has always been a strong, albeit filthy, recruiter and I’ll bet he finds a way to pull in CJ to play with TT, AB and MK. With that much talent, I’d be surprised if Texas didn’t find a way to get back to the Final Four. Who needs coaching, right? BTW, I live in NYC but I also spend a great deal of time in Las Vegas. I’m also a close friend of Cliff Findlay so I’ve had the opportunity to watch dozens of Findlay Prep and Bishop Gorman games court side. That said, I would take Cory Joseph over any other PG in the ’10 class. I would also take Shabazz Muhammad over Michael Gilchrist any day of the week.

      In all fairness to Arizona, they have ALWAYS played one of the 5 or 10 toughest schedules in the country and look where they haven’t been for the past 25 years: the NIT.

      Jessie: I love your enthusiasm but I think that it’s disrupting your ability to properly interpret reality. For the sake of all sane basketball fans, please try to tone it down just a little bit.