Recent Posts
About ZagsBlog
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.
Follow Zags on Twitter
Contact Zags
Connect with Zags:
Monday / May 1.
  • WEST POINT, N.Y. –– The Knicks’ decision to hold training camp at West Point for a third straight year has inspired split opinions within the team on matters related to current events.

    Veteran Joakim Noah came out Friday and announced he had skipped a team dinner with Cadets on Thursday night because he’s opposed to war, while rookie Marshall Plumlee, a member of the Army reserves, told me he thinks it was a great idea to hold camp at West Point.

    “It’s hard for me a little bit,” Noah said Friday afternoon, according to Newsday. “I have a lot of respect for the kids who are out here fighting. But it’s hard for me to understand why we have to go to war, why kids have to kill kids around the world? So I have mixed feelings about being here.

    “I’m very proud of this country. I love America, but I just don’t understand kids killing kids around the world.”

    With the recent passing of John Robic’s father, Kentucky coach John Calipari has officially elevated Joel Justus to assistant coach and said Justus will primarily focus on recruiting younger players.

    Calipari also said he did not envision his program “offering scholarships to freshmen and sophomores.”

    Justus has been out on the road recruiting in a temporary capacity since June.

    Justus, for example, scouted Class of 2019 stars Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis of the Ranney (N.J.) School and Team Rio all summer, and also recently hit an open gym at Hudson (N.J.) Catholic for Class of 2018 guys Jahvon Quinerly, Louis King and Luther Muhammad.

    WEST POINT, N.Y. — Lance Thomas knows all about the Plumlee family, having played alongside Miles and Mason Plumlee on the 2009-10 Duke team that won an NCAA championship.

    Now the youngest Plumlee, 7-foot Marshall, is Thomas’ teammate with the Knicks as both players look to fortify a revamped front line highlighted by the signing of free agent Joakim Noah.

    “Yeah, I knew Marshall, I remember when Marshall was in high school,” the 6-8 Thomas told me Thursday at Knicks’ training camp at West Point. “He was coming to visit his brothers, who I played with, Miles and Mason. It’s very good to have him here.”

    Thomas cares less that Plumlee is a fellow Dukie, and more about the fact that he’s a hard worker and a winner. Both players won national championships at Duke.

    A parade of high-major coaches has come through Putnam (CT) Science Academy in recent weeks to recruit Hamidou Diallo, maybe the most explosive player in the Class of 2017.

    UConn’s Kevin Ollie, UNLV’s Marvin Menzies and Arizona’s Sean Miller were all in this week, while Indiana’s Tom Crean, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Kansas’ Bill Self and assistants from Syracuse and Arizona State have all been through recently.

    The 6-foot-6 Queens, N.Y., native has yet to set any official visits, but will take an unofficial visit to Syracuse this weekend, a source said.

    “He’s still taking it slow, day-by-day,” Putnam head coach Tom Espinosa said by phone. “He still hasn’t really cut a list or anything. There’s not tons and tons of schools recruiting him at this point, maybe between 7-10 schools that are really recruiting him now. But he’s still planning on making the decision later on.”

    Here’s a look towards this weekend’s recruiting visits and other news. 

    **Nick Richards, the 6-foot-11 big man from St. Patrick’s (N.J.) High School, will take his first official visit to Kentucky this weekend before heading to Arizona next weekend. He’s also considering Syracuse, UConn and Indiana.

    **Hamidou Diallo, the 6-6 shooting guard from Putnam (CT) Science Academy, is taking an unofficial to Syracuse, as reported here.

    **Quade Green, the 6-1 point guard from Neumann-Goretti (PA), is also visiting Syracuse, per Mike Waters of the Post-Standard. Green is also considering Kentucky and Duke, among others.

    **Trevon Duval, the 6-3 point guard from IMG (FL) Academy, will visit Kansas this weekend for “Late Night in the Phog.” Duval has not planned any official visits yet and is down to nine schools including Kansas, Maryland, Villanova, and Oregon, among others.

    WEST POINT, N.Y. — When Ron Baker first signed with the Knicks this summer, he was hoping to pair up with his former Wichita State teammate Cleanthony Early, the team’s second-round draft pick in 2014.

    “We played two years together at Wichita State,” Baker told me Thursday at Knicks training camp at West Point. “At first we thought we both were going to be here.”

    But after Early was shot in the right leg during an attack in Queens last December, the Knicks did not bring him into training camp this year and he is currently out of the NBA.

    “We were a little disapppointed that he’s not here,” Baker said. “I saw him a couple weeks ago playing pickup in the city but I’m not sure on his status.”