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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 / February 6.
  • Here’s the transcript of today’s presser introducing Mike Rice as the new Rutgers men’s basketball coach.

    Tim Pernetti, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

    Opening Statement

    President McCormick and I worked very, very hard and quickly on this search. And as we got towards what we got to what we wanted to do, it was clear what we needed to do. We needed to find a head coach with the skills, with the relationships, with the passion, with the excitement about what we have here at Rutgers. And quite frankly, with energy that didn’t have a gauge that read empty.  There is a lot of things we need to do and it will be a build in a lot of ways and today I am really pleased that I can introduce a guy that quite frankly, wasn’t looking for a job – he was looking for this job. So sitting next to me is our new head men’s basketball coach Mike Rice.

    Seton Hall junior forward Jeff Robinson and junior guard Jeremy Hazell both faxed in their papers Thursday morning withdrawing from the NBA Draft and will return to campus.

    Robinson and Hazell, along with sophomore forward Herb Pope, declared and tested the NBA waters but didn’t hire an agent.

    The 6-8 Pope is currently hospitalized at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J., after collapsing last week during an on-campus workout.

    “I think we could be a great team, all of us coming back  with the new coaching in here,” Hazell said April 22, before Pope collapsed. “They’re doing a great job with us in the off-season, so I think we’ll be a great team, knowing that we got everybody coming back so I’m looking forward to it.”

    Despite a completely bogus Internet “story” to the contrary, Kentucky recruit Brandon Knight will not play in Europe next season.

    “That’s not true,” Efrem Knight, Brandon’s father, said Thursday morning by phone. “All that is is people trying to mess up Kentucky’s recruiting.”

    The bogus story quoted Knight saying he would spend next season in Italy, following in Brandon Jennings’s footsteps, instead of going to Kentucky. Jennings skipped college at Arizona and played a year of pro ball in Italy before getting drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, whom he helped lead into a Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

    Just when you thought basketball in the Soprano State couldn’t get any stranger, here comes this gem.

    Just 24 hours before Mike Rice is to be introduced as the new Rutgers coach Thursday at a press conference, former coach Fred Hill met with his old players Wednesday at an off-campus location.

    “The players did meet with him off campus,” a relative of one player said.

    Asked what Hill said, the relative said, “Sorry things didn’t work out and that he cared for them.'”