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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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Wednesday / December 13.
  • Gonzo Says SHU Will be in Top Tier of Big East; Roy Williams on Dexter Strickland

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    Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez says the Pirates will be in the top “six or eight” of the Big East next season with the additions of three transfers — Keon Lawrence, Herb Pope and Jeff Robinson — as well as big man Melvyn Oliver.

    “I am very excited,” Gonzalez told the Star-Ledger at last night’s Tournament of Champions final, won by St. Patrick over Newark Science 73-57. “We finished strong this year and won seven of our last 12. I think we will be in the top six or eight teams in the Big East and a factor for the NCAA tournament. I’m excited, the sky’s the limit.”

    Gonzalez, Rutgers head coach Fred Hill and Iona assistant Shaheen Holloway attended the game in part to recruit St. Patrick’s star underclassmen, junior guard Kyrie Irving and sophomore wing Michael Gilchrist.

    They did not disappoint. Irving tallied 26 points, Gilchrist, who shook off an ankle injury to return recently, added 16 points and 15 boards and North Carolina-bound guard Dexter Strickland scored 14 points. George Mason-bound forward Paris Bennett scored nine points despite playing with a broken nose.

    It was the fifth T of C title for coach Kevin Boyle and the Celtics and the third in the last four years.

    North Carolina coach Roy Williams was also there to watch Strickland.

    “The first think we look for in a recruit is if he’s going to be a great teammate, and Dexter is right there,” said Williams, whose team faces Gonzaga on Friday night in the NCAA Sweet 16 in Memphis, Tenn.

    “He’s a tremendous prospect. I noticed he turned the ball over a couple times in the first half, but he shares the ball and he’s a great shooter.'”

    (Photo courtesy Star-Ledger)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • I was wondering who you thought were the top five or so schools are for Kyrie Irving.

      Thanks in advance.

    • Kyrie listed about 25 schools the last time I spoke with him and he said he would cut it down to 5 or 10 this summer. I would expect Indiana, Villanova and probably Rutgers and Seton Hall to be in the mix. But everyone is after this kid. Pitt assistant Orlando Antigua is involved, and Dexter Strickland is lobbying the Carolina coaches to recruit him as well.