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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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Thursday / April 18.
  • This interview with Kentucky Coach John Calipari at the “Summer in the City” event is the third in a series of interviews with Division 1 head coaches conducted at camps this summer.

    NEW YORK — John Calipari has yet to coach a single game at the University of Kentucky and already the expectations are sky high.

    After leaving Memphis in April, Calipari landed a recruiting class that many college basketball experts consider among the best ever assembled.

    Four of the top 23 players in the Rivals150 for the Class of 2009 are coming to Bluegrass country — including the No. 1-ranked player, point guard John Wall, and the No. 2, forward DeMarcus Cousins.

    And while shooting guard Jodie Meeks left for the NBA, big man Patrick Patterson returned to campus.

    Is it any wonder that Kentucky is ranked among the Top 5 in many preseason polls — as high as No. 2 in Jeff Goodman’s Fox poll — and is being touted as a challenger for the 2010 NCAA championship?

    “Final Four contenders,” Cousins told me in April. “We’ll beat Duke and North Carolina.”

    First there was ‘Melo at Syracuse.

    Now there’s Fab Melo.

    The 7-foot, 267-pound Melo, a native of Brazil whose real name is Fabricio de Melo, gave a verbal commitment to the Orange on Tuesday afternoon.

    Whether he leads the Orange to a national championship the way Carmelo Anthony did in 2003 remains to be seen. But he will play in the new $19 million Melo Center.

    The No. 2 center in the Class of 2010 and No. 5 player overall according to Rivals, Melo chose Syracuse over Louisville, Florida State and UConn, according to  Sagemont (Fla.) High School coach Adam Ross. Texas, Florida, Kansas, Georgetown and Miami also showed interest.

    “First and foremost, he really got to know and like [Syracuse coach] Jim Boeheim and the coaching staff, [assistant coach] Mike Hopkins and the rest of the guys there,” Ross said in a phone interview. “That was an important part. He felt comfortable with them. He felt like he really fit into their system and, given their surrounding cast, that he could slide right in and make a major impact moreso there than just about anywhere else.”

    NEWPORT, R.I. — Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano said that running back Kordell Young was “still limited” after undergoing a “procedure” on his surgically-repaired knee over the summer.

    “Kordell is still going to be limited,” Schiano said at Big East Media Day. “He had a little setback. He had a little procedure done to help him over the summer. He’s kind of had a bad little streak here and hopefully he can get a stretch where he can play without injury and compete for the job.”

    Asked if Young would be able to play, Schiano said: “I met with our doctors and trainers. He’s going to be limited when we start. So what does that mean? I think a lot of it is predicated on what he tells us, his feedback.

    A slew of players committed on Monday…here’s a brief rundown:

    **Nimrod Tishman, a 6-6 point guard from Israel who averaged 18.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists at the Under-18 European Championships in France last month, has been admitted to Florida. Tishman must pass through the NCAA Clearinghouse and could enroll at Florida Aug. 24, according to a report on GatorSports.com. If he does, he could help out a team that lost Nick Calathes to Greece. New York’s Erving Walker is the lone point guard on Florida’s roster.

    Trevor Releford sat down Sunday night with his mother and uncle and cut his college list to nine schools.

    Releford, the younger brother of Kansas shooting guard Travis Releford, said he’s considering Alabama, Arizona, Oklahoma, Tennessee, USC, UCLA, Texas A&M, Minnesota and Missouri State.

    He said all of those schools have offered except UCLA.

    The 6-foot, 180-pound Releford said he likes Alabama the most because of his relationship with new head coach Anthony Grant.

    “Alabama is the top because they’ve been there the longest,” Releford said. “I talk to coach a lot and I was his first guy. He started recruiting me.”

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