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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 / April 22.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn says Ricky Rubio isn’t likely to wind up in New York via a trade.

    “I mean no disrespect to the Knicks or Donnie [Walsh],” Kahn told Alan Hahn of Newsday before the Knicks hammered the Wolves, 132-105, “but what kind of trade could they propose?”

    As we reported Monday, former Knicks international scout Tim Shea says there are several reasons Rubio isn’t likely to land in New York. First, multiple teams would be interested in landing Rubio via a trade and the Knicks hold no special chips. Second, Rubio would prefer a warmer climate. And Shea also pointed out that Rubio wants to win Euroleague championships before coming to the NBA (which may only delay his arrival, not impact where he lands.)

    You’ve heard of the Sports Illustrated jinx.

    Is this the Barack Obama jinx?

    Before newly-minted No. 1 Kentucky played at South Carolina Tuesday night, John Calipari and company received a phone call from Obama thanking them for raising money for Haiti.

    “There is that tendency, once you get to be No. 1, to start letting down a little bit and a it’s a tough place to play, so you guys stay focused. I expect to see you guys in the championship game at some point,” Obama told the then-Wildcats on a conference call.

    So what ended up happening?

    Devin Downey scored 30 points and grabbed 5 rebounds as the Gamecocks won their first-ever game over a No. 1 team, 68-62.

    “It feels great, it feels great,” Downey told ESPN. “My team been fighting so hard  and I told them, ‘Never give up, never give up. Just keep fighting and good things are going to happen.’ And tonight it paid off.”

    It’s no secret that Mike Rosario is going through a shooting slump.

    A prolonged one.

    Through Rutgers’ first seven Big East games, Rosario is shooting 25 percent (26 for 105) from the field and 28 percent from 3 (14 for 51).

    He is averaging just 10.4 points per game in conference outings, less than Jonathan Mitchell (14.1) and freshman Dane Miller (12.7).

    And it is no coincidence that Rutgers is the lone winless team in the Big East, either.

    The frustration seems to get to Rosario at times. He declined to speak to the media after the team’s last home game, a blowout loss to Villanova. For a guy who lost one total game his last two years at St. Anthony, it’s got to be tough.

    Brandon Knight took his final official visit to Miami this weekend and the nation’s No. 1 prospect is set to decide this spring.

    “There’s a lot of pressure on him [to go there] because it’s in Florida,” one source close to the situation said.

    Knight, who did not immediately return a phone message, lists Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Miami and UConn among his possible destinations.

    “Those schools are still in the mix,” Knight recently told Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier Journal. “They’re still pretty even.”

    Another source said he believes Knight will ultimately land at Kentucky, the new No. 1 team in the nation,

    It was quite a week for Curtis Kelly.

    First his current team beat No. 1 Texas. Then his former team did.

    In the span of six days, Kelly helped Kansas State hand Texas its first loss and then Connecticut gave the Longhorns their second.

    “It feels great. It was a great game. It was great win for me and my team. To beat the No. 1  team in the country and to contribute the way I did, I owe it to my teammates and God,” said Kelly, a Bronx, N.Y. native who had 17 points and 8 rebounds in K-State’s 71-62 win Jan. 18 over then-No. 1 Texas.

    Kelly added 13 and 7 Saturday when the No. 9 Wildcats lost to Oklahoma State, 73-69. That same day,  UConn knocked off the Longhorns, 88-74, in Storrs, Conn.

    I covered Kimmani Barrett during his tenure at Paterson (N.J.) Catholic and I broke the news of his commitment to La Salle.

    He was a tremendous high school player and a nice, soft-spoken kid. He was part of a pioneering recruiting class for Dr. John Giannini that tried to turn things around at the Philly school.

    Now his college career is over.

    The 6-foot-5 Barrett will have surgery this week because of a fractured bone in his right foot.

    “Kimmani Barrett has a fracture in his foot and he’s probably out for the year,” Giannini said Monday by phone.

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