December 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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Tuesday / July 7.
  • New Jersey’s two top high school programs continued their winning ways Tuesday night.

    Dan Hurley’s St. Benedict’s Gray Bees won the Gatorade International Championship in Puerto Rico with an 84-66 victory over Bayamon Military of Puerto Rico.

    Texas-bound forward Tristan Thompson led St. Ben’s with 22 points, Rice-bound guard Tamir Jackson scored 14, PItt commit Lamar Patterson had 13 and Myck Kabongo added 11.

    This is the second straight tournament title for St. Benedict’s, No. 3 in the USA Today Super 25. Tristan Thompson, Tamir Jackson, Aaron Brown and company won the Kreul Classic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    PATERSON, N.J. — Jayvaughn Pinkston was simply too big and too strong for Plainfield (N.J.) and the junior led Bishop Loughlin to a 77-59 rout of the Cardinals in the championship game of the inaugural Jingle Bells Jubilee at Paterson Catholic.

    With Rutgers head coach Fred Hill and Virginia assistant Steve Seymour looking on, Pinkston, a junior forward listed at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, dropped a game-high 30 points and nine rebounds on a Plainfield team that has arguably the best backcourt in New Jersey and entered with no losses.

    Scoring most of his points in the paint and in an up-tempo transition game, Pinkston made 13 of 21 shots and added 4 blocks, 3 steals and 2 assists.

    “I was just trying to work hard, play along with my team and get the job done,” said Pinkston, who was named both Most Valuable Player and Most Outstanding Player of the event. “It was a good win.”

    With Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez back in the hotel serving a one-game suspension, No. 11 Syracuse blew out Seton Hall, 100-76, tonight in the Big East Opener for both teams.

    The Orange (13-1) converted 12 of 22 from beyond the arc and got 26 points from Andy Rautins and 20 from Eric Devendorf, who came back after completing 40 hours of community service for allegedly striking a female student in the face. Those two combined to go 10 of 13 from 3. Seton Hall made just 2 of 27 from beyond the arc.

    “It is obvious that when you shoot the ball well from the outside and the other team does not shoot the ball well, it is really not an indication of the teams,” Orange coach Jim Boeheim said. “We made shots. It was a very close game, and then we just made four or five in a row, and that is going to break anybody’s back.”

    Welcome to the Big East schedule.

    No sooner did it start than we had our first major surprise of the year as No. 11 Georgetown went into Hartford and outplayed No. 2 UConn in every way, shape and form en route to a 74-63 victory.

    DaJuan Summers scored 18 points and Chris Wright and freshman Greg Monroe both had 16 points for Georgetown (10-1, 1-0). Austin Freeman added 13.

    Monroe looked like an experienced veteran in taking UConn big man Hasheem Thabeet out 15 feet from the basket and then dishing off to teammates for backdoor cuts.

    Two of the area’s premier juniors will square off on Tuesday for the championship of the inaugural Jingle Bells Jubilee.

    Isaiah Epps (pictured) will lead Plainfield against Jayvaughn Pinkston and Bishop Loughlin at 4 p.m. at Paterson Catholic.

    Epps holds offers from Pittsburgh, Maryland, Rutgers and Seton Hall and has interest from Kansas and Marquette, while Pinkston is being pursued by St. John’s, among others.

    Linden plays Paterson Kennedy in the third-place game at 2 and St. Peter’s meets Passaic at 12:15.

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Fitting that Rutgers would end the 2008 season with a come-from-behind win.

    After winning only one of their first six games, Mike Teel and the Scarlet Knights erased an 11-point second half deficit to defeat North Carolina State 29-23 in the Papajohns.com Bowl on Monday.

    “As the whole year went, we were able to fight through adversity and stick to it, stick to the plan,” coach Greg Schiano said. “This game was very much indicative of our season. They stuck with it. You make your own breaks, and they did.”