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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 / February 7.
  • Here’s my column from Rutgers’ 63-14 rout of Louisville.

    And here are a few quick notes and quotes from the game.

    Momentum seems to be building for Rutgers to potentially face Ball State (12-0) in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit Dec. 26. Mike Teel warmed to the idea after throwing for a school-record 447 yards and a Big East-tying seven TDs in the rout.

    “Yeah, they’re one of the best teams in the country right now,” Teel said. “I’m pretty sure they’re undefeated. They have a great quarterback that we saw last year with some great players. That would be neat.”

    Rutgers could be headed to a rematch with unbeaten Ball State in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit if it beats Louisville tonight on ESPN.

    Rutgers downed Ball State, 52-30, last January in the International Bowl in Toronto.

    The Scarlet Knights (6-5, 4-2 Big East) could face Ball State (12-0) again if the Cardinals beat Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference championship Friday night.

    “We are really looking at essentially anybody in the Big East depending on how the results are tonight and Saturday night,” Ken Hoffman, Executive Director of the Motor City and International Bowls, said Thursday by phone. “We have an arrangement with the Big East so we’re just waiting on those results to see what the best matchup is.

    “Each one has an interesting angle. The one for Rutgers is that they might be the last team to beat Ball State if Ball State goes 13-0 and Rutgers wins six in row.”

    Sean Avery’s Dallas Stars teammates hope he never comes back.

    “We hope it’s the last time we ever see him,” one veteran told James Duthie of TSN.

    “Our locker room is the happiest it has been all year right now,” says another player.

    “An apology (to the team) won’t work,” says a third player. “There isn’t much he can say to change the way we feel right now. We have a lot of pride in this organization. He isn’t welcome here anymore.”

    Avery has been suspended indefinitely by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for some highly inappropriate comments he made about his ex-girlfriend, the Canadian born actress Elisha Cuthbert who is currently dating Calgary Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf.

    How about the night on the hardwood last night for some of the freshmen out of St. Anthony? Last year these kids helped the Friars go 32-0 under legendary coach Bob Hurley and win the New Jersey Tournament of Champions. Now they’re making an impact on campus.

    **Tyshawn Taylor scored a career-high 23 points for Kansas in a 100-79 rout of New Mexico State. Taylor had three dunks in the game, after missing one Monday against Kent State.

    “I felt I had to prove myself today because of what happened the other day,” Taylor told Gary Bedore, who wrote a great story on Taylor’s dunks.

    **Mike Rosario poured in 25 points for Rutgers in a 66-62 victory at Rider. He was 6-of-12 from beyond the arc and also played tough defense against the Broncs.

    “I don’t think Rosario scored in the last eight minutes,” Rider coach Tommy Dempsey said. “I thought one guy was keeping them in the game so we put a chaser on him.”

    Seton Hall got some good news this week when it learned from the NCAA that 6-foot-11, 340-pound freshman center Melvyn “Big Mel” Oliver would be allowed to practice with the team while he awaits word from the NCAA Clearinghouse on his final status. The news was first reported by an MSG.com blog.

    Oliver previously had 14 practices with the team but has not practiced recently while the Clearinghouse reviews his transcripts. Oliver attended four high schools, most recently Mississippi Elite Christian Academy.

    “We hope to hear something very soon,” Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez said before the season began. “We’ve very, very optimistic about it. He is a little bit of project. We know he has to lose some weight and get in shape…He’s going to be a guy who could be a big positive for us. We’re all waiting very intently.”

    Big win for Rutgers Wednesday night against Rider in Trenton.

    Had the Scarlet Knights lost, it would’ve been their third in four games and raised real questions about the fate of this season.

    Rider led 60-57 with 2:07 remaining, but Anthony Farmer hit a 3-pointer to tie the game and Earl Pettis hit two more clutch 3-pointers in the final minute to insure a 66-62 victory at the Sovereign Bank Arena.

    “I expected to win tonight,” Rider head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “I know our guys expected to win. We’re at a point right now where every night we take the court we expect to win, regardless of the opponent. Give Rutgers credit, they hung in there and they played better than we did in the last 10 minutes of the game, and that’s winning time.