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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 / May 21.
  • According to a story in Tuesday’s Star-Ledger, Rutgers made a secret deal with football coach Greg Schiano to pay him $250,000 on top of what he is already earning to coach the football team at the state university of New Jersey.

    Here’s an excerpt:

    In the addendum to his contract, dated July 2, 2007, Rutgers arranged for Nelligan Sports Marketing, the university’s exclusive marketing agent, to pay the coach the additional $250,000 — keeping the payments off the school’s payroll.

    The money was deducted from sponsorship revenues collected on the university’s behalf by the marketing firm, but the amount was guaranteed by Rutgers. It was listed as a payment for “personal services” and was made to a limited liability corporation established by Schiano.

    I interviewed Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez Monday for a story running Tuesday on SNY.tv. Here are some quick hits from the interview, with more to come Tuesday.

    **Coach watched the USA Basketball Team practice Monday in Vegas, and then will stay for a couple of days to watch the AAU tournaments.

    “I wanted to see the U.S. Olympic team practice so I figured it was smart to come a day early,” Gonzalez said. “I’m here for the first couple days (of the Vegas tournaments) and I have to take a Redeye back to Newark because I have to go check in on my camp. I have a day camp this week. And then I’m the guest speaker up at SUNY Binghamton in my hometown (for the Empire State Games). I’m doing the opening ceremony, a motivational talk. It’s pretty exciting, it’s like 10,000 athletes. And then I turn around and I come back out to the West Coast and I go to Phoenix and then Orlando and then I come back and probably wrap things up at Eastern (in New Jersey).”

    As mentioned here recently, Louisville coach Rick Pitino has made New York guards Durand Scott and Doron Lamb two of his top priorities.

    The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Scott is a Top 50 player in the Class of 2009 and a rising senior at Rice High in Manhattan.

    “Louisville is showing a lot of interest and is not too, too far from home,” Scott told Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier-Journal at the LeBron James US Skills Academy, where he sprained his ankle.

    Scott’s list also includes Pittsburgh, Miami, Memphis, St. John’s and Seton Hall.

    After his stellar play with the Albany City Rocks AAU program at the Nike Peach Jam, Tobias Harris has picked up half a dozen more offers.

    The 6-8, 225-pound Harris, out of Dix Hills (NY) Half Hollows West, received offers from Wake Forest, Florida State, Texas, Louisville, Miami and Syracuse.

    “Tobias doesn’t have a leader in his recruiting process,” his father, Torrel, said. But Torrel has previously mentioned that Rutgers was the first to offer and that he likes what the staff there is doing.

    Good story today by Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World about how Kansas coach Bill Self is more recognizable on the recruiting trail this summer after winning an NCAA championship.

    “One thing that is a positive … we are a little more recognizable now. You walk in a crowded gym, and they may recognize you. We’ve gotten a little added airtime,” Self told Bedore.

    Self and his staff, including Jersey’s own Joe Dooley, are working on a number of high-profile targets, including Xavier Henry, a 6-foot-6 guard/forward from Putnam City (Okla.) High, who averaged 24 points a game at the Nike Peach Jam.

    Henry says he’s down to Kansas, Memphis, UCLA and Texas, but we hear it will be between Memphis and Kansas. Both his parents attended Kansas.

    Self and his staff are also targeting Brooklyn Lincoln star Lance Stephenson, the No. 2 shooting guard in the Class of 2009, and St. Anthony standout Dominic Cheek, ranked No. 4. Both players have listed Kansas among their choices, with Stephenson saying it’s down to Kansas, USC, UCLA, Tennessee, Texas, Memphis and St. John’s. His father’s list did not include Texas and Tennessee.

    Dooley has already proven he can recruit the Northeast hard, having landed St. Anthony guard Tyshawn Taylor, St. Patrick big man Quintrell Thomas and twins Marcus and Markieff Morris out of Apex Academies in South Jersey.

    Speaking of Cheek….

    St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley had this to say about Cheek and the USA U18 National Team losing in the gold medal game to Argentina.

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