Villanova Separates Itself With Pinkston; KU'S Taylor Hospitalized; Rivers Hasn't Decommitted from Florida; Poole to Announce Thursday; Gil Biruta, St. Ben's Clinic | 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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Friday / June 21.
  • Villanova Separates Itself With Pinkston; KU’S Taylor Hospitalized; Rivers Hasn’t Decommitted from Florida; Poole to Announce Thursday; Gil Biruta, St. Ben’s Clinic

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    Villanova head coach Jay Wright met Tuesday with JayVaughn Pinkston and now the Wildcats have separated themselves in his recruitment.

    The 6-foot-6 Pinkston, a senior forward at Bishop Loughlin, is the top player in New York City and the No. 67-ranked player in the Class of 2010 according to Rivals.

    “It was a great home visit today,” said Kimani Young, the New Heights athletic director and an adviser to Pinkston.

    “[Coach Wright] talked about how Jay would fit in and what they’re doing. He talked about the success he’s had with guys from New York City, Allan Ray, Curtis Sumpter, Jason Fraser, and now with Corey Fisher and Antonio Pena.

    “He talked about how at a place like Villanova it’s important how well they do academically. A kid like Curtis Sumpter was a future NBA first round pick and then had two torn ACLs. Now he’s an average player overseas but he has his Masters degree and has a  future in the finance world. You can’t say that would’ve happened at other schools.

    “I think that resonated with Jay’s mother, Kerry, and that resonated with Jay.”

    St. John’s, Tennessee, Marquette and Seton Hall are also actively recruiting Pinkston. Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez is due for an in-home next Tuesday (Sept. 29)  and Marquette head coach Buzz Williams comes in Sept. 30.

    At this point, though, it looks like Villanova is leading for Pinkston.


    Kansas sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor was hospitalized Tuesday night after a skirmish reportedly broke out between members of the school’s basketball and football teams.

    The Lawrence Journal World & News reported that the incident took place in front of the Burge Union on the Kansas campus shortly after 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

    The paper also reported that Taylor suffered a dislocated left thumb and would be out 3-4 weeks.

    A nursing supervisor confirmed to the paper that Taylor, a star on Bob Hurley’s undefeated 2008 St. Anthony team, was treated and released Tuesday night at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

    “We’re aware of reports of an incident and we are gathering facts as we speak,” associate athletic director Jim Marchiony told the paper Tuesday night.


    Austin Rivers thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Duke over the weekend, but the 6-4 shooting guard from Winter Park (Fla.) hasn’t opted to decommit from Florida.

    “There’s a lot of cool things about Duke basketball and it was a good place to see and enjoy,” Rivers told the Orlando Sentinel.

    River’s older sister, Callie, is a junior volleyball player at Florida.

    “I have to sit down with my family and think, but right now Florida is still my school,” Rivers said. “I still love Florida.”


    Stacey Poole, a 6-5 small forward out of Jacksonville (Fla. ) Providence School, is set to announce Thursday between Kentucky and South Carolina, according to Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier Journal.

    Poole told that, “Kentucky is really strong right now, hard to beat.”


    Fresh off his successful official visit to Arizona last weekend, 6-8 forward Rod Odom of Concord (Mass.) Middlesex has cut Georgia Tech from his list.

    “Yes,” he said by text.

    Odom will take an official to Harvard this weekend and then  Boston College Oct. 3.

    Vanderbilt and West Virginia are also in the mix.

    New York Panthers coach Gary Charles said of the Arizona visit: “Rod had a great visit to Arizona. They are a serious contender.”


    Gilvydas Biruta is a 6-8 senior forward from Lithuania now playing for Dan Hurley at St. Benedict’s Prep.

    A number of schools are interested in Biruta, including Northwestern, Washington, UPenn, Auburn, Seton Hall, Davidson and Creighton.

    “Those are the schools,” a St. Ben’s coach said. “He’s drawn a lot of interest over the summer. He played for the Lithuanian [U18] National Team. People love his size right now and he’s getting a lot of looks from a lot of people.”


    Speaking of St. Ben’s, be sure to check out the star-studded coaches clinic there on Friday that features Villanova’s Jay Wright, Pitt’s Jamie Dixon, Arizona’s Sean Miller, Temple’s Fran Dunphy, and NBA coaches-turned-broadcasters Hubie Brown and Jeff Van Gundy.

    Click here for more info.

    (Photos courtesy Rivals, Lawrence World Journal, FIBA)

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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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