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.
Fontan, Rosario Combine for 37 in Loss; Smith Returning to Tennessee for Senior Year
Jio Fontan and Mike Rosario combined for 37 points but Puerto Rico lost to France 85-84 Thursday in the World Juniors Basketball Tournament in Douai, France.
Fontan, who has said he won’t play at Fordham in the future because the school won’t grant him a release, dropped 25 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
Rosario, a 6-3 shooting guard from Rutgers, added 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Rosario was coming off a 33-point outburst against a team of American high school stars.
Puerto Rico is prepping for the FIBA U19 World Championships in New Zealand July 2-12.
Fontan and Rosario teamed at St. Anthony of Jersey City to win the New Jersey Tournament of Champions and a mythical national championship in 2008.
In other Fordham-related news, Khalif Toombs, a 5-8, 150-pound jet-quick point guard out of IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., has been hearing from Fordham, Cal-State Fulleton and Texas Pan American.
“He is our best pure point guard since Taurean Green,” IMG coach Dan Barto said. “He matched up and held his own against the Florida JUCOs and had a great showing against Johnny Lacy and KC Ross-Miller as well.”
Toombs, originally from Atlantic City, averaged 16 points, 6 assists and 2 steals per game this year.
SMITH RETURNING TO TENNESSEE
Tennessee guard Tyler Smith is returning to campus for his senior season and won’t enter the NBA Draft.
“It’s been a great past few weeks trying out for the NBA,” Smith said. “But after talking with my family, coaches and teammates, I’ve decided to return [to Tennessee] for my senior year. I think we have a great chance to have something special next year with my teammates. They have been working extremely hard. I learned how to be a professional and what it takes to be at that level.”
In his two seasons at Tennessee, Smith has never missed a game and has scored 1,079 points while averaging 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. The Pulaski, Tenn., native has earned back-to-back first-team All-SEC honors and helped lead the Volunteers to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and an average of 26 wins per season.
As a junior this past year, Smith led the Vols in scoring (17.4 ppg), assists (3.4 apg) and free-throw percentage (.766) while starting all 34 games.
(Photos courtesy Fordham & Tennessee)
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.