October 2008 | Zagsblog
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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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Saturday / July 4.
  • Arsalan Kazemi has chosen a school.

    Kazemi, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound combo forward from Iran who plays at The Patterson (N.C.) School, made a verbal commitment to Rice Friday during an official visit to the Houston school.

    Kazemi’s commitment comes shortly after Egheosa Edomwonyi, a 6-7, 225-pound power forward from the Princeton (N.J.) Hun School, also chose to play for head coach Ben Braun. St. Benedict’s combo guard Tamir Jackson — who decommitted from UAB — and 6-5 Chicago wing Chris Eversley will also play at Rice.

    There is a new player in the John Wall Sweepstakes.

    The Duke staff has reached out to those close to Wall about making a commitment in the spring.

    “Yeah,” Wall said by text message when asked if this was the case.

    The 6-foot-4 Wall out of Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God is due to the take the SAT on Nov. 1. He has been recruited by Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, Memphis, Oregon and N.C. State.

    At this point, all signs point to a spring commitment.

    Coaches from Baylor and Miami watched Wall work out on Wednesday in Raleigh, according to Jerry Meyer of Rivals.

    For the second time this month, sophomore forward Herb Pope was denied a waiver from the NCAA that would have enabled him to play at Seton Hall this year.

    “The NCAA Subcommittee of Legislative Relief has upheld the staff decision to deny the transfer waiver request for Seton Hall men’s basketball student athlete Herb Pope,” read a statement from the NCAA and Seton Hall. “This denial of the transfer year-in-residence waiver was based on case precedent and the intent of the legislation. The 6-foot-8, 235-pound Pope will be eligible to practice with the Pirates this season, but won’t see game action until 2009-10.”

    Pope’s initial request for a waiver that would have enabled him to play for the 2008-09 season was denied earlier this month. Seton Hall then appealed, leading to the second denied request.

    On the same day that North Carolina was chosen as the preseason No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll, the Tar Heels received some bad news.

    Senior forward Tyler Hansbrough, the 2008 national college basketball player of the year, has a stress reaction condition in his right shin and will sit out practice indefinitely. Head coach Roy Williams made the announcement Thursday evening.

    Hansbrough did not practice Thursday, but had an MRI that revealed the stress reaction.

    There is no timetable for his return and Williams will not have a statement until Friday after he meets with the UNC medical staff and Hansbrough.

    “There’s no real timetable for Tyler Hansbrough’s return to practice,” ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said on air. “It could be as a little as a week, but it could be a little bit longer….All in all it’s not termed as a long-term problem that’s going to drag on through the season. He needs rest, he will get it and as soon as he’s back on the floor, they expect to have him for the rest of the season.”

    Kenny Boynton, the No. 2 shooting guard in the Class of 2009, made a verbal commitment to Florida on Thursday on ESPNU.

    The 6-foot-2, 187-pound Boynton out of Plantation (FL) American Heritage chose the Gators over Duke, USC, Georgia Tech and Texas.

    ”Next year I feel I’m going to be a big piece of the team and we’re going to try to get to the Final Four,” Boynton told the Miami Herald.

    Boynton joins 6-10 forward Erik Murphy of Southborough, Mass. and 6-9 forward Deshawn Painter of Chatham, Va. among Florida’s 2009 recruits.

    PISCATAWAY, N.J. — This is not the way JR Inman wanted to begin his senior year.

    Suspended. Injured. And patiently waiting for his chance to play.

    “It’s probably the toughest thing that I’ve ever had to deal with in my life because of the fact that it is my last year and I do have a lot of faith in this year’s team,” the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Inman said at Rutgers Media Day on Wednesday. “So it’s unfortunate but I always break it down to a scientific equation, two negatives equals a positive. Me and Jaron [Griffin] being out is a negative, but you combine it together, keep working hard and it can turn into a positive.”

    Head coach Fred Hill last month suspended Inman and Griffin, two of the team’s three seniors, “from game competition” for violating team policies. It remains unclear when they will be reinstated.