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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 19.
  • Vermont coach Mike Lonergan met with Holy Cross officials on Saturday and is the favorite to replace departed coach Ralph Willard, a source with knowledge said.

    Lonergan, 43, was the America East Coach of the Year in 2007 after guiding the Catamounts to a 25-8 record and an appearance in the NIT.

    Last year he lead Vermont to a 24-9 overall record, a share of the America East regular season championship and only their second-ever postseason victory in school history. Vermont knocked off Wisconsin-Green Bay in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational before losing on the road in overtime to the eventual CBI champion Oregon State in the next round.

    Willard left Holy Cross to join Rick Pitino’s staff at Louisville.

    New York City star Doron Lamb says Kentucky will be among his Final Five when it comes time to take visits.

    “I have a good relationship with [assistant] coach [Orlando] Antigua and [Rod] Strickland,” the 6-foot-5 Lamb told Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier Journal. “Coach [John] Calipari called me, and we talked a long time. He’s a good guy; they’ll be in my final five for sure.

    “They make pros, and that’s what I want to be.”

    Lamb left Bishop Loughlin before last season and now plays at Oak Hill Academy. He is ranked the No. 5 shooting guard in the Class of 2010.

    Kevin O’Neill may not have been good enough for Arizona.

    But apparently he’s good enough for USC.

    O’Neill, who was the interim coach at Arizona two seasons ago and has 13 years of experience as a college and NBA coach, was named Tim Floyd’s successor at Southern Cal on Saturday.

    Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon and UNLV coach Lon Kruger both reportedly turned the job down.

    “We’re thrilled to have Kevin O’Neill as our men’s basketball coach,” USC AD Mike Garrett said in a statement. “Kevin is the consummate coach. He knows his Xs and Os, he’s an excellent recruiter and he is very in tune with the academic side of a player’s collegiate experience. His 30 years of experience at the college and professional levels has prepared him well for this opportunity. I love his coaching philosophy and principles: he’s a no-nonsense coach who is very detail-oriented and prepares his teams well. He stresses defense and I’ve always believed that defense wins championships.”

    Weyinmi Efejuku will play basketball for Jamaica this summer.

    And by next fall, he hopes to be playing in the NBA.

    Efejuku, a 6-foot-5 forward out of Fresh Meadows., N.Y., who graduated from Providence, is one of several New York-area players who will compete for Jamaica in the Caribbean Basketball Championship June 28-July 4 in the British Virgin Islands.

    Joining Efejuku on the Jamaican team are Louisville big man Samardo Samuels, Rutgers guard Mike Coburn and former Utah wing Garfield Johns.

    “It’s an honor to represent your country or to have countries want you to represent
    them in competition,” said Efejuku, whose parents are both Jamaican. “Even though now is a busy time for me, I still want to represent Jamaica in this competition and play and just learn and get better.”

    Noel Johnson, a 6-foot-7 small forward who initially signed with USC, has decided to play for Clemson.

    Johnson, out of Fayetteville (GA) Fayette County, chose Clemson over LSU, UNLV and Florida International.

    “When they sat me down on my visit, they showed me how much I can do for them,” Johnson told ESPN.com. “I know I can help them at the two, three and even the one.”

    Clemson lost senior guard K.C. Rivers and sophomore guard Terrence Oglesby, who left to play in Europe.

    Johnson left Southern Cal after the program came under scrutiny from the NCAA because of the O.J. Mayo scandal. Head coach Tim Floyd later stepped down.

    “After that happened, I wanted to get out,” Johnson told ESPN.com.

    TOP TWEETS & BLOGS FROM NBA CAMP

    Here is a selection of Top Tweets from the game’s top reporters at the NBA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Va.

    ***Read the feature on Ashton and Sterling Gibbs here.***

    I’m working on a feature story on brothers Ashton and Sterling Gibbs of Scotch Plains, N.J., both of whom are playing for USA Basketball teams this summer.

    Check back later for the full story, but I’m posting this college update first.

    Sterling, a 6-foot point rising junior guard out of West Orange (NJ) Seton Hall Prep, says Villanova is his leader at this point.

    “I would say right now the favorite would be Villanova,” Gibbs said Thursday by phone after he scored 13 points as the U.S. beat Venezuela 102-76 in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Mendoza, Argentina.

    “I just like the way that they play and how their guards play. They’re just an open offense. There’s not real set plays. They just like to have players who could just make plays.”

    **For more on Memphis, read my feature on Tyreke Evans here.**

    Memphis could be the last team standing in the Lance Stephenson Sweepstakes.

    With Florida, St. John’s, Kansas, Maryland and possibly Arizona all out, Memphis may have the best chance to land the 6-foot-5 Stephenson.

    “If the kid wants to come here, Memphis will take him. There’s no doubt about that,” said Keith Easterwood, a longtime AAU coach in Memphis.

    One source with knowledge went so far as to say Stephenson was planning an upcoming visit to the Conference USA school.

    “I think he is taking a visit. I think Memphis is leading,” the source said. “They are two feet in on Lance.”

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