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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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Wednesday / April 24.
  • The USA U18 team made its cuts Wednesday and is now down to 12 players.

    The 12 finalists include: Vander Blue, Trevor Cooney (pictured), Abdul Gaddy, Josh Hairston, Kyrie Irving, Quincy Miller, Tony Mitchell, LeBryan Nash, Jereme Richmond, Austin Rivers,  Amir Williams and Patric Young.

    “It feels great and the team is very balanced and talented,” Irving, who is headed to Duke, said by text.

    The players who got cut were: Tracy Abrams, Keith Appling, James Bell, Michael Gbinije, Mikael Hopkins, Sheldon McClellan and Desmond Simmons.

    By ALEX KLINE

    What is the significance of June 15th to coaches, players and the class of 2012 as a whole?

    It was the first day when the NCAA permits college coaches to officially recruit prospects. On this day, college coaches can make their first contact with members of the class of 2012 for the first time whether it’s to talk with them or even offer them. A number of top prospects in the class of 2012 and even one big name in the class of 2013 picked up offers Tuesday.

    *North Carolina coach Roy Williams and company stayed up late to offer two of the best in the class of 2012. 6-foot-5 Shabazz Muhammad (pictured) and 6-foot-5 J.P. Tokoto were both offered by the Tar Heels.

    *6-foot-10 Daniel Ochefu ’12 picked up his sixth offer, from Georgetown. Despite not visiting the campus yet, Ochefu previously stated to ZAGSBLOG contributor Alex Kline that he “likes Georgetown and Kentucky a lot,” but was not sure if they would offer this summer. The rising junior, who just had a big weekend at the Nike Hoop Jamboree in St. Louis, plans to “make a list of schools in two weeks.”

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –– The Nets are strongly leaning toward taking Derrick Favors with the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft, multiple team sources said.

    “He’s the most natural power forward,” one source said.

    The Nets, who already have a center in Brook Lopez, will work out the 6-10 Favors and 6-11 DeMarcus Cousins June 21. On Thursday, they will look at 6-7 Syracuse forward Wesley Johnson, another player they are considering.

    “Favors is 18 years old, won’t be 19 until September. So he’s like a work in progress,” Nets president Rod Thorn said at the press conference introducing Avery Johnson as the  team’s new coach.

    NEW YORK — Malcolm Gilbert didn’t score a single point during Sunday’s 17-and-under Gold championship game at the Rumble in the Bronx at Fordham University.

    But at 6 feet, 11 inches tall, Gilbert was a major factor in helping East Coast Elite down Andre Drummond and the Connecticut Basketball Club, 63-58, for the title.

    Gilbert had five blocks on Drummond, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2012, in the first half and six total blocks in the game. He also finished with 9 rebounds — 6 offensive, 3 defensive — before fouling out with 54 seconds remaining.

    “He’s intriguing because of his upside,” East Coach Elite coach Terrell Myers said before the final. “What people don’t understand is, they see 6-11, they look at him as an offensive player. He’s not an offensive player, he’s a defensive player.

    Jordan Goodman, a 6-foot-8, 207-pound combo forward from Washington D.C., has verbally committed to Rutgers beginning in 2012.

    He initially committed to Georgetown but decommitted after David Cox left that school and became associate head coach at Rutgers.

    “It had something to do with him and meeting Coach [Mike] Rice and all the teammates and everything,” Goodman said by phone.

    Damon Handon, a director with the DC Assault AAU program, said Rutgers was getting one of the Top 10 players in the Class of 2012, even though he is not ranked as such.

    “In my opinion, he’s one of the Top 10 players in that class, no doubt about it,” Handon said. Rutgers is getting a Top 10 player.”

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