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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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Monday / February 6.
  • **Check out this interview where Tom talks about some of the top players in the area in the Class of 2010, including Jayvaughn Pinkston, Kyrie Irving, Tobias Harris, Devon Collier and Doron Lamb.**

    Now that Lance Stephenson is off to college at Cincinnati, the top high school player in New York City in the Class of 2010 is Bishop Loughlin forward Jayvaughn Pinkston.

    But the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Pinkston very nearly left the Big Apple to play for Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, a national powerhouse that features former Loughlin guard Doron Lamb.

    “There was some thought of him transferring, but we feel confident after meeting with the coaching staff [led by first-year coach Ed Gonzalez] and the guidance counselors that Loughlin is the best place for him right now,” said Kimani Young, the athletic director of the New Heights AAU program and an advisor to Pinkston.

    Bob Hurley says two of his former St. Anthony players should explore the NBA Draft after their sophomore seasons in college.

    Rutgers shooting guard Mike Rosario and Kansas wing Tyshawn Taylor (pictured at center) are both excelling at the FIBA U19 World Championships in New Zealand and Hurley says they could be ready to go pro after next year.

    “Mike’s dream since he was 9 years old is to play in the NBA and he’s one where I would think he would want that information and want to know what people think about him,” Hurley said by phone Wednesday morning. “Based on the year he has and Rutgers has, he ought to explore it and just see where it stands.”

    It could turn out to be a two-horse race for Michael Gilchrist, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2011.

    “Michael loves Villanova,” Cindy Richardson, Gilchrist’s mother, told the Philly Inquirer. “It’s Kentucky, Villanova. Villanova, Kentucky.”

    Gilchrist said two years ago that he wanted to play for Memphis and now that John Calipari has left Memphis for Kentucky, many expect the 6-foot-7 swingman to end up at Kentucky.

    Gilchrist’s uncle, William Wesley, known as “Worldwide Wes,” also enjoys a close relationship with Calipari.

    Kyrie Irving, Gilchrist’s teammate at Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, revealed that he and Gilchrist are best friends and sometimes talk about playing college together.

    “Me and Mike, we talk about Kentucky mainly,” Irving told me. “Coach Cal, he’s a great coach. And the whole coaching staff when I got to know them at Memphis, I have a great relationship with them. It’s just a top program.”

    Here are few interesting updates from the guys at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio…

    **Xavier’s Jordan Crawford, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard, dunked on King James during a pickup game Monday night involving LeBron and the college players in attendance.

    “I was on the right wing and went down the middle. I got past Danny Green and LeBron was waiting under the basket. I don’t think he thought I was going to dunk it, so he jumped late. It was two-handed,” Crawford told Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com.

    “Yeah, it happened, and it was bad,” Michael Gilchrist of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, the top player in the Class of 2011, told Gary Parrish of CBS Sports. “That was something to see.”

    Turns out Nike basketball senior director Lynn Merritt confiscated evidence of the dunk by seizing the tapes of freelancer Ryan Miller, who had been filming for about 15 minutes.

    “The worst part is I’m not even sure I had the shot of the dunk,” Miller told Goodman. “They might have taken it for no reason.”

    **Speaking of James, Chris Broussard of ESPN is reversing course, saying LeBron denies that he told Trevor Ariza he would stay in Cleveland beyond 2010 when he becomes a free agent.

    “Sources close to LeBron who have spoken with him say that story is not true,” Broussard told SportsCenter. “They say he never told Trevor Ariza he was staying in Cleveland past 2010.”

    In a story on ESPN.com earlier, Broussard wrote the opposite:

    “Trevor asked LeBron if he would be in Cleveland after next season,” a source told Broussard. “And LeBron said, ‘I’ll be there. Of course, I’ll be there.'”

    One of the hottest names on the summer recruiting circuit right now is Fabricio De Melo, a 7-foot, 267-pound center who goes by the name of Fab Melo.

    A native of Brazil and a junior at Sagemont High School in Florida, Melo averaged 13.5 points for his school in Brazil before arriving in the U.S. He sat out his junior season at Sagemont because of Florida’s international student transfer rules, but his stock soared after the King James Classic in April.

    Now Melo is competing before 250 college coaches in the adidas ItTakes5ive Classic in Cincinnati.

    One day after Rutgers guard Mike Rosario dropped a career-high 54 points on France, the U.S. held him to 11 points in an 82-61 victory in the FIBA U19 World Championship in New Zealand.

    Howard Thompkins (14 points, 9 rebounds) and Gordon Hayward (11 points, 7 rebounds) led the way for the USA, and Duke guard Seth Curry (pictured) scored 9 points. Pitt guard Ashton Gibbs and Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor, both New Jersey natives, added 8 points apiece.