Rutgers Signs Guard from Kosovo; St. John's Gels on Canadian Trip | 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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Saturday / December 9.
  • Rutgers Signs Guard from Kosovo; St. John's Gels on Canadian Trip

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    Muhamed Hasani, a guard out of  Pristina, Kosovo who plays for the Kosovo senior national team, is the newest scholarship player at Rutgers.

    “We feel very fortunate to add a player of this caliber to our roster at such a late stage,” Rutgers head coach Fred Hill said. “We are confident that Muhamed can be a key contributor. He is a solid player with experience, who handles and shoots the ball well. We are very excited to welcome him into the program.”

    The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Hasani has played for the KB Sigal Prishtina Junior team since 2005, winning two U18 titles and a pair of U16 championships with the club. Recognized in the summer of 2007 by the Basketball Federation of Kosovo as the best player under the age of 21, he recently competed with the Kosovo Junior National Team at the Friendship Games in Eliat, Israel. Fluent in four languages (Albanian, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian and English), Hasani attended Gymnasium Sami Frasheri in Pristina, Kosovo, where he was an honor student.

    Fran Fraschilla, who covers international basketall for ESPN, said a number of teams learned about Hasani via game tapes and a CD that he sent around to schools.

    “I know that  a videotape of him had surfaced and a number of schools were impressed with what they saw on the tape,” Fraschilla said.


    St. John’s overcame a bunch of injuries to go a perfect 4-0 on its recent trip to Canada.

    Fifth-year redshirt forward Anthony Mason Jr. suffered a groin injury before the team even went North of the border.  Rob Thomas also suffered a groin injury on the trip. Justin Burrell , who played part of last year with a face mask after a collision at practice, hurt his hand. And Quincy Roberts took an elbow to the face. Dele Coker never made the trip because of Visa issues.

    “Guys were injured and we had to play small,” Johnnies coach Norm Roberts said by phone.

    “The last game when I knew we had very little energy in the tank, we had to tough it out and the guys had to find a way to win it at the end. It was a really good trip. The kids played hard,” Roberts said.

    Norm Roberts said Quincy Roberts suffered a slight concussion, while Burrell underwent X-rays on Tuesday.

    “He’s getting it looked at by our hand specialist here. I don’t foresee it being really bad, but we’ll have to wait for the X-rays on that,” coach said.

    Without many of the big guns, some of the other players got a chance to contribute.

    Justin Brownlee, Omari Lawrence, Malik Stith and Dwight Hardy got out there and played major minutes,” Roberts said. “Hardy had to play the point at one or two times. I think that was good for the team.”

    Hardy also scored, dropping 20 points in one game and 18 in another.

    On the recruiting front, the Johnnies have one ship for 2010, maybe more depending on what happens.

    A number of high-profile recruits have been to campus in recent weeks, including Doron Lamb, JayVaughn Pinkston, Devon Collier, Sterling Gibbs, Angel Nunez and Kadeem Jack.

    The Johnnies are also in the Tobias Harris Sweepstakes, along with 10 other teams.

    “Tobias is a scoring machine,” one Big East coach said. “He can score the ball.”

    (Photos courtesy Daylife and St. John’s athletics)

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    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.

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