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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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Sunday / December 8.
  • The high school careers of Lance Stephenson and James Padgett came to an end Saturday…and Maryland coach Gary Williams was there to watch it.

    “I was surprised to see him,” Stephenson told the New York Post.

    James Stukes, an uncommitted 6-5 small forward, had 22 points and Miami-bound guard Durand Scott added 16 as Rice crushed two-time defending State Federation champion Lincoln 77-50 in a Class AA boys semifinal in Glens Falls, N.Y. Rice will meet Newburgh Free Academy on Sunday for the state championship.

    Stukes, who decommitted twice from Robert Morris, will prep next year at South Kent (Conn.) and said he could still wind up at Robert Morris.

    Stephenson, New York State’s all-time scoring leader, had 14 points, six rebounds and two assists for Lincoln and the 6-8 Maryland-bound Padgett posted 12 points and 10 boards.

    “You gotta lose some games,” Stephenson told the Post. “I thought it would be closer. We gave up. I was surprised, but it happens.”

    As first reported here, the 6-5 Stephenson is expected to announce next week that he will play at Kansas, which lost to Michigan State Friday night in the Sweet 16. Maryland and St. John’s also made Stephenson’s final list.

    If UConn wins its third national championship under Jim Calhoun, will the coach consider retiring?

    “I don’t know,” Calhoun told ESPN.com. “I’m going to have to think about it.”

    As Gene Wojciechowski points out in his column,  Calhoun has been through the ringer this year: cancer treatments,  a season-ending injury to guard Jerome Dyson, the infamous salary postgame drama with a blogger, missing UConn’s opening-round tournament game against Chattanooga because of dehydration.

    Billy Donovan denied reports that he will take the newly vacated Kentucky job and said he plans to remain at Florida.

    “In response to the rumors circulating about my interest in other jobs, I wanted to address this as quickly as possible. I am committed to the University of Florida and look forward to continuing to build our program here,” Donovan said in a statement.

    Nick Mariniello is back on the New Jersey coaching scene.

    After a year off, Mariniello, 42, took the job at Hudson Catholic in Jersey City on Thursday.

    “The school has a very rich tradition in athletics and academics,” Mariniello, who will continue to teach at West Caldwell Tech, said Friday by phone. “I think a lot of things are in place to be successful.”

    As a Catholic regional school, Hudson Catholic can draw on players from throughout North Jersey and the state. Mariniello brings a proven track record of success and of sending kids to college, so you have to think it would be an attractive spot for some top players.

    Mariniello posted a career record of 186-50 during nine years at Bloomfield Tech. He led the Spartans to four Group 1 state titles, two Tournament of Champions finals and one Essex County championship. He was named the New Jersey Coach of the Year in 2002-3 by the Star-Ledger. Mariniello was also the MSG Tri-State Coach of the Year in 2006-7. The Spartans were nationally ranked by USA Today in 2003-4 and in 2005-6 they finished 17th in the nation.

    This Nate Miles story just keeps getting better and better.

    Two days after Yahoo! Sports broke the huge story related to UConn’s alleged recruiting violations associated with Miles comes the news that Josh Nochimson paid for Miles to have surgery in Tampa.

    The Tampa Tribune reports that M. Christopher MacLaren of the Tampa Bay Bone and Joint Center said he performed surgery on Miles at the Tampa Bay Surgery Center.