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Friday / January 20.

b6ovxkpieaa1mxe-jpg-largeKentucky coach John Calipari spent New Year’s Eve watching  7-footer Stephen Zimmerman win the Beach Ball Classic with his Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman teammates.

Bishop Gorman beat Duke-bound Luke Kennard and Franklin (OH), 71-39, in the Beach Ball Classic final in Myrtle Beach, FL.

Zimmerman was named Tournament Most Valuable Player after posting 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the win and his Duke-bound teammate Chase Jeter had 18 points and 12 rebounds.

NCAA Basketball: St. John's at Seton HallBY JEREMY FUCHS

NEWARK– A week after Kentucky coach John Calipari praised the wealth of talent in New Jersey, a few Jersey kids and a few kids from New York City helped Seton Hall pull off the upset against No. 15 St. John’s, 78-67, Wednesday afternoon at the Prudential Center.

And though Kevin Willard reached into Brooklyn this past recruiting period to land McDonald’s All-American guard Isaiah Whitehead, it was a group of four players from the larger Tri-State area who stepped up while Whitehead is dealing with a stress fracture.

635553046081140337-UK-UL-JonesFlop-MSBy CHRIS RUSSELL

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino made the decision to bench starting point guard Chris Jones for Tuesday’s matchup with Long Beach State due to the infamous flop that took place against No. 1 Kentucky in Saturday’s Bluegrass battle.

Initially, many thought that Jones was benched due to his poor performance against Kentucky, going 3-for-15 and only distributing one assist. Not to mention, Jones was completely outplayed by 5-foot-9 freshman Tyler Ulis.

After Tuesday’s game, Pitino cleared up the speculation.

“I was very upset at that,” Pitino told the Courier Journal. “We don’t do that type of thing, and then to fake with the jaw like you got hit, you can’t fake like you got hit. You can’t fake it… That’s something Louisville guys don’t do.”

10653248No. 15 St. John’s and Seton Hall will open the Big East Conference slate at noon today in a season in which both teams are envisioning a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

And in this dreary year for New York pro teams (other than the hockey franchises), wouldn’t it be nice to see the two area Big East teams make the Big Dance?

The Johnnies are certainly set up to go dancing.

At 11-1, St. John’s is off to its best start since the 1985-6 season and is clicking on all cylinders following an 82-57 dismantling of Tulane on Sunday at Barclays Center.

Their only loss came last month in the NIT Season Tip-Off title game to a tough Gonzaga team that appears to be a Final Four contender.

4_3234343By: CHIP MILLER

Mouth of Wilson (VA) Oak Hill Academy point guard Terrence Phillips picked up a scholarship offer from Loyola Marymount during his Dec. 28-29 official visit.

Phillips said the visit went well.

“It was good,” Phillips told SNY.tv by text. “They kept it real with me. I saw what they need in there and the direction they are trying to go.”

Phillips recently told SNY.tv he was down to two final schools, Loyola Marymount and Missouri, although at that time, he held no official offer from either school.

By CHIP MILLER

Carlton Bragg ‘s friends made him custom socks featuring his final schools, although it appears the pictures have been removed from his Instagram.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Cleveland (OH) Villa Angela-St. Joseph  is considering Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and Illinois.

To date, Bragg has taken one official visit, that was to Kansas for Late Night at the Phog. Officials to the other three are coming but dates have yet to be set.

“We are still working on it,” he recently told SNY.tv. “It’s kind of hard because of the schedule. It will probably be during the season.”