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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 / December 9.
  • Tom Penders will step down as head coach of the Houston men’s basketball team on Monday and sophomore guard Desmond Wade of Linden, N.J. will evaluate his options.

    “Were going to sit back and evaluate the situation,” Jeff Wade, Desmond’s father and an AAU coach with the Select Stars, said Sunday night by phone. “We’re going to see who the new coach is and take it from there and see what the new coach has got to say.

    “Des liked Tom Penders, they had a good run. We don’t know after that point.”

    NEW YORK –– Florida coach Billy Donovan seems more focused on trying to land stud recruit Brandon Knight than he is on becoming the next coach at St. John’s.

    Despite a published report to the contrary, St. John’s AD Chris Monasch has not contacted Jeremy Foley, his counterpart at Florida, for permission to speak with Donovan, a St. John’s spokesman said.

    “I am very happy here, and we have a very good team coming back next season,” Donovan told Lenn Robbins of the Post in a text message. “St. John’s has a great tradition, and I have great respect for that program.”

    Knicks center David Lee, a former Florida star, also said he thought it was unlikely Donovan would replace Norm Roberts, who was fired late Thursday after six seasons at the Queens school.

    NEW YORK –Mike D’Antoni says he likes to play rookies, just not “bad rookies.”

    D’Antoni became defensive Sunday when told that former Knick and current Houston Rockets rookie Jordan Hill said he wasn’t given “the opportunity” to play during his tenure in New York. Hill was dealt to Houston by the Knicks during a three-team deal Feb. 18.

    “I don’t like to play bad rookies , I like to play good rookies,” D’Antoni said before Houston beat the Knicks, 116-112, Sunday at MSG.

    Hill was the No. 8 pick in last June’s NBA Draft but was constantly compared to Milwaukee rookie Brandon Jennings, who was chosen 10th and is in contention for Rookie of the Year honors. The Knicks needed a point guard more than they appeared to need another frontcourt player.

    Alex Kline has a lengthy piece on Terrence Ross up over at BoxofMess.com. Here are some of the highlights.

    After de-committing from Maryland, the 6-foot-5 senior shooting guard from Portland (Ore.) Jefferson now has a top five of Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, and Oklahoma.

    “In Kansas, I like the history,” Ross told Kline. “With Kentucky, I like the run-and-gun type of game they play. Oregon is close to home and is a guard school and Washington is, as well. I like the roster over at Oklahoma.”

    He said he plans to major in Criminology in college and hopes to “take a couple more visits.”

    Bob Hurley will have a hand in the Seton Hall coaching search, but he won’t be the school’s next head coach.

    The legendary St. Anthony High School coach said he might speak with Seton Hall officials as soon as Saturday afternoon to offer counsel on whom they pick to replace Bobby Gonzalez, who was fired Wednesday after four tumultuous seasons.

    “I’m going to talk to the people from Seton Hall but I see my role as a veteran coach in New Jersey just telling them what I think about the whole hiring situation, which really doesn’t include me,” Hurley said by phone Saturday afternoon before he planned to hop in his convertible and watch some AAU basketball games.

    “They have reached out to me and I’m going talk to somebody perhaps later [Saturday].  I’m going to talk to them. I don’t know that in this point in my life it’s something I should do.”

    Pat Hobbs, the Dean of the Seton Hall Law School, and Joe Quinlan, the school’s AD, are running the coaching search. Hurley has known Quinlan for years.

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Tobias Harris and the Tennessee men’s basketball team both play critical games on Saturday afternoon.

    At 2:15, the 6-foot-9 Harris leads Dix Hills (N.Y.) Half Hollow Hills West (23-1) into a New York State Federation Class AA semifinal against Rochester East (19-4) at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

    Sometime after 3:30, No. 6 Tennessee faces No. 14 Ohio University (22-14) in a second-round NCAA tournament game in Providence, R.I.

    Just a few months from now, Harris and Tennessee will be united and then the multi-skilled forward will become the program’s featured player.

    “He is going to be the face of Tennessee basketball for the next several years,” Vols coach Bruce Pearl said early Friday morning after Tennessee edged San Diego State, 62-59, in the first round.

    It is hard to imagine things getting worse at Seton Hall from a public relations perspective…

    Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino announced Friday the arrest of former Seton Hall basketball player Kelly Whitney, 27, of Chicago in connection with the South Orange robbery allegedly involving Robert Mitchell, another former Seton Hall player and current student.

    Whitney was arrested at approximately 11 p.m. [Thursday] night at a Newark hotel. He was charged with eight counts of kidnapping, eight counts of aggravated assault, robbery, burglary and weapons charges.

    Whitney will be arraigned Monday.

    Whitney and Mitchell allegedly entered a residence located on Irvington Avenue in South Orange on March 15, forcing the eight occupants of the home to move from various rooms into a common area where they forced them at gunpoint to turn over their cash and personal items.