April 2009 | Page 13 of 17 | 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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Friday / July 10.
  • Latavious Williams, the No. 6 power forward in the nation, would consider going to Europe if he doesn’t qualify academically for college.

    “If he didn’t qualify I’m thinking he would maybe have to look at some junior college or possibly some European situations,” said Carlos Wilson, Williams’ coach at Humble (TX) Christian Life Center.

    “I think Europe is a viable option in his mind. I really do think there’s a possibility that he would look into playing overseas if he didn’t qualify. It just depends.”

    Despite rumors that Lance Stephenson has verbally committed to St. John’s, both the Stephenson family and St. John’s say the story is completely false.

    “No decision has been made. All these rumors are hearsay. Lance is still  weighing his options,” Lance “Stretch” Stephenson Sr. told SNY’s Brooklyn Sal Wednesday by phone.

    A source within the St. John’s basketball program also flatly denied the rumor.

    “I still believe Lance is undecided,” the source said. “No information has been given to anyone. It’s premature.”

    DeJuan Blair will announce Thursday afternoon at a press conference that he will declare for the NBA Draft.

    Among others who will declare for the NBA Draft are Chase Budinger of Arizona, James Johnson and Jeff Teague of Wake Forest and Demar Derozan of USC, according to Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com.

    Blair, the Big East-Co Player of the Year and a first-team All-America pick,  averaged 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds. He is also one of three finalists for the Naismith Award, along with Blake Griffin (Oklahoma) and Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina). Blair is projected to go in the mid- to late-first round. If he performs well at the workouts, his status could improve.

    BoogieScore one for John Calipari.

    He landed 6-foot-10 center DeMarcus Cousins to Kentucky after Cousins had initially made an oral commitment to Memphis while Calipari was there.

    “I just committed tonight,” Cousins told Scout.com’s Evan Daniels on Tuesday. “I’m going to UK.”

    Cousins averaged 29 points and 12 rebounds last season and is the No. 2 overall recruit in the Rivals 150 for 2009.

    “He’s like a man shopping. He didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the store,” Otis Hughley, Cousins’ high school coach at Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore, said by phone. “He knew what he wanted from the beginning and he felt like he found what he needed in Coach Cal.”

    DETROIT – I’m sitting here in the Detroit airport waiting for a flight back to New York City, and I figured it was appropriate to launch this post with the above tune from my boys in KISS. Detroit might be great for hosting classic rockers, but they shouldn’t host a Final Four anytime soon. At least not before they get the Internet and weather situations sorted out here…

    Anyway, here are some tidbits on the NBA comings and goings and the Coaching Carousel in the wake of Carolina’s 89-72 rout of Michigan State last night in the NCAA title game:

    **Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal World spoke to Carl Henry, who refuted this rumor that new Memphis coach Josh Pastner had hired Henry as his DOBO.

    “I can’t work at Memphis. I don’t want to work at Memphis. If I took that job I couldn’t do what I do – work with kids,” said Henry, who coaches the Athletes First AAU team in Oklahoma City.

    DETROIT – While Xavier and C.J. Henry have received their releases from Memphis and are considering what to do next, DeMarcus Cousins is in a holding pattern, waiting to make his next move in the wake of Memphis naming Josh Pastner as its new head coach Monday.

    Carl Henry has previously said that Xavier would like to go to Kansas, but it could depend on whether C.J. gets an NCAA waiver and is able to play immediately next year, as opposed to sitting out another year. If he does get an NCAA waiver to play immediately, the brothers could potentially play together at Kansas or Kentucky. If not, Xavier could go to Kansas or Kentucky and C.J. would remain at Memphis.