February 2010 | Page 12 of 14 | 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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Sunday / September 20.
  • Before this season began I accepted a gig covering Knicks home games for NBA.com.

    Initially, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle covering both the Knicks and Big East basketball for SNY.tv. But aside from being out of the house and away from my family several nights a week, things have worked out pretty well so far.

    Except for one thing.

    I’ve seen a lot of bad basketball.

    During a five-day span this past week, I saw Seton Hall (at Villanova), St. John’s (to West Virginia) and the Knicks (to Milwaukee) all lose.

    Then on Saturday things got even worse.

    The Knicks and Nets were both in action in the NBA, as were all three local Big East teams:  Rutgers, Seton Hall and St. John’s.

    The collective result?

    Those five New York-area teams lost by a combined 74 points.

    Tyrone Johnson, the 6-foot-2, 170-pound junior point guard from Plainfield (N.J.) High, has long been a target of the Georgetown Hoyas.

    Coach John Thompson III’s staff was among the first teams involved with the powerful and skilled floor general.

    But it wasn’t until last week that the Hoyas actually offered him a scholarship.

    “They’ve been on him for a while. JT3 made it official this week,” Derrick Bobbitt, Johnson’s AAU coach, said Saturday.

    The No. 46 prospect in the Class of 2011 according to Rivals, Johnson also holds offers from Rutgers, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech and interest from Kentucky, Villanova, West Virginia, UConn, Indiana, Virginia, Temple and UNLV.

    NEW YORK — Three years ago, I wrote a cover story for Slam magazine on four of the best high school guards in the nation — Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Lance Stephenson.

    The cover read, “Final 4 – Jennings, Holiday, Evans & Stephenson. Who’s the best guard in the country?”

    Three years later, three of those four guys are in the NBA and the fourth, Stephenson, likely soon will be.

    Before Jennings torched the Knicks for 22 points and 8 assists in a 114-107  Bucks’ victory at Madison Square Garden, he spoke about the NBA prospects of Stephenson, a freshman at Cincinnati, and Kentucky frosh John Wall.

    “I haven’t heard much about [Stephenson] so in that case probably when you don’t hear a lot about somebody, they probably need to stay another year or so,” Jennings said.

    Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, the No. 5 team in the USA Today Super 25, will be declared ineligible for the upcoming New Jersey state tournament at a hearing Wednesday because it held illegal preseason practices, according to a source with direct knowledge.

    Head coach Kevin Boyle will receive a three-game suspension and the program faces two years of probation, the source added.

    “The recommendation is for a three-game suspension for Boyle and the team can’t play in the [state] tournament and [faces] two years probation,” the source said.

    The Star-Ledger first reported on its Website Thursday that St. Patrick had been accused of holding illegal preseason practices. New Jersey schools are not allowed to hold practices before Thanksgiving.

    The executive committee of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association is expected to “rubber stamp” the recommendation of the Controversies Committee to suspend St. Patrick when it convenes Wednesday in Robbinsville, N.J.

    Andre Drummond, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2012, will visit Rutgers unofficially Feb. 20 for the UConn game.

    The 6-foot-11, 270-pound Drummond will likely visit with Matt Quinn, the son of St. Thomas More coach Jere Quinn.

    “He’s a good kid and I like Freddie [Hill] and those people so I’ll try to help them out,” Jere Quinn said of the Rutgers coach. “If we get him down there maybe they’ll like [Hill] a little better.”

    Quinn has previously coached several players who ended up at Rutgers, including former NBA guard Quincy Douby and former Rutgers guard Justin Sofman, now at Monmouth.

    Brandon Knight’s father says “nobody is leading” for the services of his son, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2010.

    “Nobody’s leading. Brandon can flourish at any one of the schools that he’s going to,” Efrem Knight said by phone. “It still where it’s been. He’s considering all the same schools.”

    The elder Knight said his son is still considering Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, Florida, UConn and Syracuse.

    The 6-foot-3 Knight will play against Florida commit Austin Rivers Friday night when Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest faces Winter Park on ESPN2 (7 p.m.).

    Several sources had previously told me that Knight will likely land at either Kentucky or one of the Florida schools. Kentucky coach John Calipari flew last night to watch Knight perform at the Flyin’ to the Hoop event in Dayton.