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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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Monday / February 6.
  • Duke and Xavier will tip off on Saturday at the Izod Center in a battle of Top 25 teams. Why are a team from North Carolina and a team from Ohio battling it out in a broken-down arena in New Jersey?

    Recruiting, of course.

    Both teams want to continue to draw on the rich talent pool in the New York/New Jersey area that includes nationally ranked powerhouses St. Benedict’s Prep of Newark (No. 2 in the PrepNation.com Poll); No. 4 St. Patrick of Elizabeth; No. 8 Lincoln of Brooklyn; and No. 11 St. Anthony of Jersey City.

    “We are really recruiting that area harder than we ever had because of coach [Emanuel “Book”] Richardson and also what we are trying to accomplish here,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said Tuesday in a conference call.

    Christian Morris is considering Southern Methodist, Texas Christian and Norfolk State as his next destination and may add additional schools Sunday.

    “It’s still open but he has visited Norfolk State, will end his visit today with TCU and will visit SMU,” said Larry McGugins, Morris’ AAU coach.

    The 6-foot-9, 280-pound Morris saw limited playing time at Rutgers and opted to transfer.

    Here is the mid-year transfer list, courtesy of my esteemed colleague Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com. If you know of any additions to this list or know where these players are headed, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

    The Brian Doherty Classic has been renamed the Newark National Invitational and will take place Jan. 24 at The Prudential Center in Newark.

    In past years the event was held at St. Benedict’s Prep, but this year’s tournament will take place at “The Rock” in order to showcase the national talent. The headliner event features Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson and Lincoln against Rice commit Tamir Jackson and host St. Benedict’s. St. Ben’s is currently No. 2 in the PrepNation.com Poll, while Lincoln is No. 8. Villanova-bound wing Dominic Cheek of St. Anthony and one-time UAB commit DeMarcus Cousins of LeFlore (Ala.) will also be on hand.

    Cliff Dixon has de-committed from Seton Hall but says he’s still considering the Pirates among several other schools.

    “Me committing to Seton Hall was like a panic decision, like no other schools were considering me because I was suspended,” Dixon, a 6-foot-10, 210-pound forward at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, said Tuesday in a phone interview.

    The story was first reported by Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com.

    I’ve officially given up on trying to figure out where former Louisville big man Derrick Caracter of Fanwood, N.J. will end up.

    UAB coaches had been researching the possibility of bringing Caracter in, but they have decided not to pursue it, according to a source.

    UAB has a verbal commitment from 6-9 senior big man DeMarcus Cousins, but Cousins has yet to sign his NLI, saying he wants an out clause if head coach Mike Davis leaves.

    Finished up my two-night stand of Neil Young shows at Madison Square Garden and I can report that Neil is still at the top of his game and kickin’ butt at age 63.

    Wearing a Frank Zappa T-shirt underneath a jacket, he romped around the stage like some kind of Wild Canadian Cowboy, mixing in heavy duty guitar-oriented epics like “Cortez The Killer” and “Rockin in the Free World” with slower ballads like “Old Man” and “The Needle and The Damage Done.” Click here to check out “Heart of Gold.”

    And here’s a review from the New York Post.