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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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Tuesday / October 22.
  • Malcolm Gilbert, a 6-foot-11, 225-pound center from Academy of the New Church outside Philly, verbally committed to Pittsburgh Monday evening.

    “I called coach [Jamie] Dixon and I told him I wanted to come to Pitt,” Gilbert, the No. 17 center in the Class of 2011, said by phone. “It’s just a great school, great program, great tradition and it has what I need to take the next steps to achieve my goals.”

    Gilbert chose Pitt over Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Virginia and Clemson.

    Asked what skill-set he will bring, Gilbert said: “Just a big defensive presence. I have great touch on my jump shot and I’m working on my hook shot. I’ve been working on my footwork. I can be an outstanding presence in the post.”

    Shaquille Thomas, the 6-foot-7, 185-pound nephew of Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Thomas, is down to three schools.

    Thomas, now at NIA Prep in Newark, is considering Cincinnati, Seton Hall and UTEP.

    Thomas takes an official to Cincinnati Wednesday and then heads to UTEP Sept. 17. He visited Seton Hall unofficially earlier in August.

    Thomas said he will decide “after my visits.”

    The No. 22 small forward in the Class of 2011 according to Rivals, Thomas has moved around from Paterson Catholic to Montclair (N.J.) High to Beckley (West Va.) Mountain State to NIA Prep, but seems to have found a stable situation.

    One name that has flown under the radar somewhat this summer is Ky Madden, a 6-foot-5, 170-pound point guard out of Arkansas East Poinsett County.

    The No. 4 point guard in the Class of 2011, Madden helped the Arkansas Wings win the 17 & under AAU National Championship at ESPN’S Wide World of Sports last month in Orlando. He was named tournament MVP.

    Madden currently has officials lined up to UConn (Sept. 8-10), Baylor (Sept. 11), Ole Miss and Arkansas. His father, Jerome Madden, said Monday it was unclear which of the last two schools his son would visit first, but one will take place the weekend of Sept. 17 and one Sept. 24.

    Boys & Girls senior shooting guard Mike Taylor is focusing on six schools, according to assistant coach Elmer Anderson.

    The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Taylor is looking at St. John’s, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, South Florida and South Carolina.

    “Those six schools are the ones that have been consistent with him,” Anderson said Monday.

    Maryland and Virginia Tech have also been linked to Taylor, but those schools have not been as consistently involved.

    “He’s got the same schools that were pretty much involved with him before,” Anderson said.

    With only two legitimate frontcourt players on his 2010 roster, Mike Rice needed some help.

    He got it Monday with the news that 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward Robert Lumpkins of Washington, D.C. will enroll at Rutgers and play his final collegiate season with the Scarlet Knights in 2010-11.

    Lumpkins, who spent the past three seasons at New Mexico State University after a stint at Kilgore (Texas) College, recently earned his undergraduate degree from NMSU and will pursue a graduate degree at Rutgers.

    “Robert is a veteran player with high-level experience,” said Rice. “We are very excited to welcome him into the program. Robert’s addition is going to provide us additional versatility and depth in our efforts to play a tenacious style for a full 40 minutes.”

    Mikael Hopkins, the No. 12 power forward in the Class of 2011 out of DeMatha (Md.), has added Rutgers to his list of possible schools.

    The 6-foot-8, 210-pound Hopkins took an unofficial visit to Rutgers Sunday along with his mother, Miko, and Team Takeover coach Keith Stevens.

    “He went down there so he’s got to be definitely considering them,” Stevens said by phone.

    Stevens declined to go into detail about the visit because he said he doesn’t generally provide information on specific visits.