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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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Friday / April 23.
  • Coming off the Thanksgiving holiday, both Seton Hall and Rutgers are gearing up for games this weekend.

    **After winning 2 of 3 in Puerto Rico, Seton Hall (4-1) actually received two votes in the AP Top 25 poll, the same poll that features seven Big East teams in it: No. 2 UConn, No. 3 Louisville, No. 4 Pittsburgh, No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 15 Marquette, No. 20 Villanova and No. 21 Georgetown. Syracuse, which beat defending national champ Kansas in Kansas City, and West Virginia also received votes.

    “It’s too early to even think about ‘resume wins’ or anything like that, or NIT or NCAA, because we have so much basketball to play,” PIrates coach Bobby Gonzalez told WABC radio. “But to come in and beat USC and Virginia Tech and get some quality wins like that, and play Memphis, too, which is a strength-of-schedule game, and go home 4-1, I think that’s pretty exciting right now for this early in the year.”

    NEW YORK — Blake Griffin has done it again.

    Oklahoma’s 6-foot-10, 251-pound sophomore forward dropped 32 points and 15 rebounds on UAB in a 77-67 victory in the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden.

    No. 11 Oklahoma meets No. 10 Purdue in Friday’s championship game at 3:30. The Boilermakers downed Boston College, 71-64, behind 19 points from E’Twaun Moore.

    Griffin has now recorded double-doubles in all five games for the Sooners (5-0). He had career highs of 35 points and 21 rebounds Sunday, when Oklahoma looked sluggish before pulling out an 80-76 victory over Gardner-Webb. He entered the UAB game averaging 26 points, 19.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

    Against UAB, he had 19 points and 7 rebounds in the second half, when the Sooners stormed back from a 34-29 deficit.

    Nearly everywhere Dominic Cheek goes, he seems to run into a former teammate.

    At Kansas, it was Tyshawn Taylor. At Rutgers, Mike Rosario. At Pitt is is Travon Woodall.

    Of the five schools still on Cheek’s list, three feature freshmen who played alongside Cheek last year on St. Anthony’s undefeated national championship team. Only Memphis and Villanova do not.

    I interviewed Woodall, a freshman point guard, tonight for a story running Friday in advance of Pitt’s trip to Newark for the Legends Classic. NCAA regulations prevent me from quoting Travon directly on what he said about Cheek.

    St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark finished 24-1 and ranked No. 2 nationally a year ago but had no postseason tournament to peak for.

    That’s because Dan Hurley’s Gray Bees played a national independent schedule that didn’t culminate in a postseason tournament.

    That will all change this year.

    The Gray Bees have been selected to participate in the National High School Invitational, a new event being put together by ESPN, Nike and Paragon Marketing. It is set for April 3-5, the Final Four weekend, and will be held at Georgetown Prep in Washington, D.C.

    The second annual SNY Invitational will take place Jan. 23-24 at NYU’s Coles Center and will once again feature some of the top high school boys basketball teams in the New York metropolitan area.

    Thomas Jefferson, led by Keith Spellman, Joel Wright, David Coley and Davontay Grace (pictured courtesy Daily News), meets Sherrod Wright and Mount Vernon in one semifinal on Jan. 23 at 6 o’clock. The second semifinal features a Boys & Girls team led by Lamount Samuell, Anton Dickerson and Mike Taylor against a St. Raymond’s squad that includes Nkereuwem Okoro, Myron Hickman and Daniel Dingle.

    The winners will square off for the championship on Jan. 24.