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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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Thursday / December 7.
  • The is8 playoffs in New York City are having an impact on the recruiting plans of several of the city’s top seniors.

    Lance Stephenson will not visit Kansas this weekend for “Late Night in the Phog” because his Juice All Stars will compete Saturday morning in the is8 semis against New Heights. The Gauchos, who feature Durand Scott of Rice, take on the Playaz seniors in the other semi. The championship game is on Sunday.

    Stephenson, who dropped 26 points when Juice downed the Playaz juniors this past weekend, still plans to visit Kansas, but will not get there this weekend, when a number of other stars, including Xavier Henry and Dominic Cheek will attend.

    I had hoped to write a triumphant post today about how my Ultimate team, Above & Beyond from New York, had qualified yet again for Nationals in Sarasota, Fla. later this month.

    Our team, a group of Masters players over 33, had qualified for the Ultimate Players Association (UPA) Nationals four years in a row, reaching the finals in 2005 and the semis in ’06. (Here are a few pictures from ’05, with me holding up the runner-up trophy along with my then-10-month old daughter, Grace.)

    But this year we came up short at Regionals in Boston this past weekend. Very disappointing for all of us who worked so hard during the year to prepare for the fall series.

    Sean Kilpatrick is headed to the Big East.

    The 6-foot-5 shooting guard originally from White Plains, N.Y. committed to Mick Cronin’s Cincinnati club during an official visit over the weekend. Kilpatrick, now spending a postgraduate year at Fitchburg (Mass.) Notre Dame Prep, attended Cincinnati’s Basketball Fan Jam on Saturday and committed because he liked the environment and how he was treated by the coaches.

    “I’m a lot more focused on the books situation than the basketball situation,” Kilpatrick told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

    Kilpatrick had also planned to visit Providence the weekend of Oct. 24, but that visit is no longer needed.

    Kilpatrick averaged 25.6 points last season and was selected to the Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game at Madison Square Garden. He committed to St. John’s in the spring, but then changed his mind.

    Greg Schiano gave his weekly press conference Monday as Rutgers (1-5) heads into Saturday’s noon kickoff against UConn (5-1) at Rutgers Stadium. Here are a few quick highlights:
    **Domenic Natale, a 6-2, 210-pound redshirt junior who transferred from Michigan State, has been elevated to the No. 2 QB spot behind starter Mike Teel. He replaces Chris Paul-Etienne.
    “Dom is healthy again,” Schiano said. “He wasn’t in full force (earlier). He’s a lot closer to it than he’s been.”

    Dominic Cheek will visit Pittsburgh and has reorganized the schedule of his official visits.

    The 6-foot-5 Cheek, a senior at St. Anthony in Jersey City, will visit Kansas, Villanova and Pitt over three successive weekends later this month. Visit dates for Memphis and Indiana are still being finalized, according to St. Anthony associate head coach Ben Gamble.

    Cheek will now still visit Kansas Oct. 17 for “Late Night in the Phog” and Villanova Oct. 24 for “Hoops Mania.” Now he will go to Pitt the weekend of Oct. 31. Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon is close with St. Benedict’s coach Dan Hurley, the son of St. Anthony head coach Bob Hurley.

    Travon Woodall, a combo guard from Paterson, N.J. and Cheek’s former St. Anthony teammate, is a freshman at Pitt, as is former Seton Hall Prep standout Ashton Gibbs.

    One player to keep an eye on the Class of 2011 is Malcolm Gilbert, an athletic 6-foot-11, 215-pound big man from Smyrna, Del.

    Gilbert played his first two years of high school ball at St. Elizabeth High School in Wilmington, Del, but transferred to Academy of the New Church (Pa.), where he has reclassified to the Class of 2011.

    “I want to catch up with the years I’ve lost at the school I used to go to,” Gilbert, who averaged 9 points, 13 rebounds and nearly 12 blocks last year, said this summer. “I couldn’t get my skills together (at St. Elizabeth). There weren’t enough coaches there to teach me the skills I needed.”

    } });