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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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Sunday / February 17.
  • St. Patrick Suspended from State Tourney; Hurley Calls Paterson Catholic TOC Favorite

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    ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. — Illegal workouts for big-name college coaches…secret videotapes made by former state troopers turned undercover private investigators…complaints about illegal recruiting from a former NBA player with a checkered past…fiery speeches, threats of lawsuits and name-calling that includes the use of “fascist” and “terrorist”… all in the name of high school basketball.

    As expected, Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick was officially banned from the New Jersey state basketball tournament and put on two years probation Friday by its state association.

    Head coach Kevin Boyle, found guilty of holding illegal preseason workouts – so his players could be seen by college coaches – was suspended for three games.

    Read the full story here.


    Also, these quotes didn’t make the story (because of length), but legendary St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley calls Paterson Catholic the favorite to win the Tournament of Champions.

    “I would say Paterson Catholic is probably still the favorite,” said Hurley, whose team has won 10 T of C titles. “I haven’t seen them since the beginning of the season. Early on they looked like a very, very good team. I know we’re happy we’ve improved since the beginning of the season. We still have a bunch of games to play. Everything we’re doing is geared toward being ready for the states.

    “From a competition standpoint, we’re 1-2-3 in the state in one section,” Hurley added, referring to St. Patrick, Paterson Catholic and St. Anthony. “Now we’re 2-3 in one section. It’s still a tough section but it’s a little more winnable now.”

    Paterson Catholic, which features Seton Hall-bound senior forward Fuquan Edwin and star junior point guard Myles Mack, has lost to St. Patrick six times in the state tournament since 1997. The Cougars advanced to the Tournament of Champions final once, when the Tim Thomas-led team lost in the finals to Orange in 1994.

    “There was no guarantee we would’ve played [St. Patrick’s],” PC coach Damon Wright told the Bergen Record. “But our kids know the St. Patrick’s kids. They crushed us last year, and I just think our kids could have made it a better game this year, and it was probably something that they were looking forward to. But right now, we have our eyes set on the [Passaic] County tournament.”

    As for the suspension itself, Hurley said he felt bad for the St. Patrick kids.

    “It’s a shame,” he said. “The kids are effected by this and I feel bad for them, particularly the kids that are seniors in high school. Everything you do is geared toward playing the state tournament. They were certainly a strong favorite to win a state championship. It’s tough.”

    (Photo courtesy Star-Ledger)

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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.