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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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Thursday / November 21.
  • Steve Lavin appears on the brink of becoming the next head coach at St. John’s.

    “Everything is looking positive,” a source with knowledge said. “There was a very productive and positive dialogue.”

    Lavin, the former UCLA coach who now works as an ESPN analyst,¬†and St. John’s AD Chris Monasch met Monday and will meet again Tuesday.

    In related news, the Boston Globe reported that Boston College fired Al Skinner last Wednesday, prior to his Friday interview with Monasch.

    The Globe reported that BC has requested permission to speak with Richmond coach Chris Mooney and Cornell coach Steve Donahue to replace Skinner.

    New Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard could be without the Big East’s leading rebounder when he begins his first season next fall.

    Herb Pope, a sophomore who led the Big East in rebounding at 10.7 and scored 11.7 points per game, announced that he will enter his name into the June NBA Draft.

    “After careful consideration of my options, and considering the needs of my family in Pittsburgh and a desire to compete at the next level, I have decided to enter the 2010 NBA draft,” Pope wrote in a statement to family adviser Tony Pullen that was obtained by ESPN.com. “While I will continue to attend class at Seton Hall, allowing me the option of ‘testing the waters,’ I am 110 percent committed at this time to staying in this draft.

    “I have room to improve, but I am confident that I will perform well in on-site workouts.”

    If Pope does not hire an agent, he can return to campus next season but he must decide by May 8.

    NEW YORK — The North Carolina Tar Heels are the defending national champions until the night of April 5.

    And when that Monday night comes around, the Heels hope somebody besides the Duke Blue Devils are raising the championship trophy.

    “Ahhh, I want to see them lose because their Duke. I’d rather have West Virginia win,” freshman point guard Dexter Strickland of Rahway, N.J. told me Monday afternoon in Manhattan.

    While Duke advanced to the NCAA Final Four to play West Virginia Saturday in Indianapolis, Carolina will play Rhode Island Tuesday night in the NIT Final Four at Madison Square Garden. Dayton meets Mississippi in the other NIT semi.

    Seton Hall will usher in a new era in men’s and women’s basketball Wednesday when the school introduces Kevin Willard as its new men’s coach and Anne Donovan as its latest women’s coach.

    Both will be introduced during a joint noon news conference in South Orange, N.J.

    Shortly after landing Willard from Iona Sunday morning, Pat Hobbs, the Dean of the Seton Hall Law School, managed to pry the 6-foot-8 Donovan away from the WNBA’s New York Liberty and bring her to Seton Hall as well, ZAGSBLOG.com has learned. Donovan will still coach the Liberty this summer before taking over Seton Hall for the college season.

    Both coaches will receive five-year deals. Willard will receive a total compensation package worth “roughly” $1 million per year, with a base salary in excess of $500,000. Donovan’s contract details were not disclosed.

    “We are announcing to the world that Seton Hall is going to be competitive in college athletics,” a source within the Seton Hall administration said.

    Steve Lavin and St. John’s AD Chris Monasch will meet Monday in what could be a prelude to the former UCLA coach becoming the next head coach at St. John’s.

    “He will interview at some point Monday,” a source with knowledge said.

    “Both sides are really excited.”

    If the meeting goes well, Lavin could be named the successor to Norm Roberts, who was fired last week after six seasons.

    “If there was a candidate that really came in and was incredibly impressive, I
    think you can declare that you’ve found your new coach,” the source said.

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. –– Siena’s Fran McCaffery will be the next coach at Iowa.

    “It’s done. It’s going to be Iowa,” a source with knowledge said Sunday morning in breaking the news exclusively to ZAGSBLOG.com.

    Iowa has set a noon press conference for Monday.

    “On behalf of the Siena community I would like to congratulate Fran on being named the head coach at Iowa,” Siena AD John D’Argenio said in a statement.