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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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Sunday / December 17.
  • 4_3067630By MATT JESSEN-HOWARD

    INDIANAPOLIS – At last weekend’s Adidas Gauntlet stop here, Dennis Smith impressed with his ability to both distribute and attack.

    The 6-foot-3 2016 lead guard from Fayetteville (N.C.) Trinity Christian is leading Team Loaded North Carolina in points (17.3), the Adidas Gauntlet circuit in assists (6.9), and is one of the leading rebounders among guards in Gauntlet (4.8). It’s no surprise that Smith is ranked the top point guard by all four major recruiting networks.

    Smith holds offers from Duke, Florida, Florida State, Kansas, North Carolina, N.C. State, Ohio State, VCU, and Wake Forest, among others. Missing from that list is Louisville – who is actually the school the five star hears from the most.

    “Right now, I’d probably say Louisville is recruiting me the hardest,” he told SNY.tv. “N.C. State, Duke, Carolina, Kansas, Wake Forest, and Florida are probably the other schools I’ve been hearing from the most. Providence has been hitting me up lately, too.”

    donovan_billyBilly Donovan is the new head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Donovan, a Long Island native, becomes the third head coach in Thunder history after spending the past 19 years at the University of Florida where he led the Gators to two National Championships and four trips to the Final Four while amassing a record of 467-186 (.715).

    “We are thrilled to welcome Billy and his family to the Oklahoma City Thunder organization. When we began the process of identifying the next head coach of the Thunder, we started with a vision and the identifiable qualities that we felt were necessary for our organization as well as the ever evolving role of the head coach in today’s NBA. We wanted to identify a person with the traits associated with high achieving leaders in their respective fields; a continuous learning mentality, the ability to adapt, evolve and innovate, intrinsically motivated, humility, and great tactical competence,” Thunder GM Sam Presti said in a statement.

    During his tenure at Florida, Donovan led the program to 16 straight 20-win seasons, three 30-win seasons, 17 consecutive trips to the postseason and six SEC Championships. Under Donovan, Florida has advanced to the Elite Eight in six of the past 10 seasons.

    4_3157263Jonathan Isaac is a 6-foot-9, 17-year old small forward from Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy who may still grow to 7-feet.

    Yet he models his game after Kevin Durant and wants to perfect his guard skills.

    “I’m just trying to work on guard skills,” Isaac told SNY.tv by phone on Thursday. “I don’t want to go into college thinking I’m a stretch four. I want to be a guard when I go to college.”

    You don’t see too many 6-9 guards, to say nothing of 7-foot ones.

    But Isaac said his doctors told him he may still grow a few more inches.

    “When I went to the doctor, I heard 7-1,” he said.

    UnknownAfter picking up late commitments from forward Brandon Ingram and point guard Derryck Thornton, Duke is now a co-favorite to repeat as NCAA champions in 2016, according to Bovada.

    The Blue Devils faced 16-to-1 odds earlier this month and are now at 10-to-1, as are Kentucky, Michigan State and North Carolina.

    Maryland is at 14-to-1, with Kansas at 16-to-1.

     

    Odds on 4/8/15 Current Odds

    Duke 16/1 10/1

    Kentucky 8/1 10/1

    Michigan State 20/1 10/1

    North Carolina 6/1 10/1

    Maryland 12/1 14/1

    Kansas 16/1

    10373049Villanova transfer Dylan Ennis has trimed his list to three schools — Baylor, Illinois and Oregon — and plans to decide by next week, his father confirmed to SNY.tv.

    The 6-foot-2 Ennis cut Duke, Purdue, Tennessee, LSU and Georgia Tech from his list. Several of those schools recently added point guards.

    Ennis visits Baylor today (Thursday), Illinois on Friday and Oregon on Saturday, Tony McIntyre confirmed.

    NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-2nd Round-San Diego State vs St. John'sNEW YORK — As St. John’s transitioned coaches from Steve Lavin to Chris Mullin, the fates of their two most important players hung in the balance.

    Sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan could have opted to transfer or declare for the NBA Draft, and in fact was not there the first time Mullin met his new players after taking over for Lavin.

    Junior big man Chris Obekpa had been suspended for the NCAA Tournament after failing a drug test, and his future with the program was also highly uncertain.

    Considering that St. John’s was already losing a lot of firepower in graduating players D’Angelo Harrison, Sir’ Dominic Pointer and Phil Greene, and then proceeded to lose out on recruits Brandon Sampson and Cheick Diallo, the departures of Jordan and/or Obekpa could have been devastating.

    NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at St. John'sNEW YORK — In an ideal world for new St. John’s coach Chris Mullin, he and his staff would’ve taken Queens by storm on the recruiting front in their first few weeks on the job.

    After taking over last month, Mullin and assistants Barry “Slice” Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih met with key 2015 targets Brandon Sampson and Cheick Diallo in the hopes of convincing one or both to be part of something new in Queens.

    But the 6-foot-4 Sampson chose home-state LSU over St. John’s, while the 6-9 Diallo on Tuesday announced for Kansas over St. John’s, Kentucky, Pitt and Iowa State.

    Mullin is not permitted to discuss specific recruits, but during a lunch meeting Wednesday near campus with beat reporters, he said the staff — and fans — have to be “realistic” in their approach to recruiting.