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.
NEW YORK — When Team USA takes the court in Madrid today against Lithuania (3 p.m., ESPN) in the first of three exhibitions leading up to the FIBA World Championship, don’t be surprised if they look like the Syracuse Orange on defense.
That’s because Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and assistant Mike Hopkins helped Team USA and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski install their infamous 2-3 zone during training in Las Vegas and New York.
“We got one of the best teachers of the zone in Jim and we’ve worked on it both days here [in New York],” Coach K said last week. “And we just need to have it. Whether we use it a lot or a little, it’s there. And we need to practice it like we’re going to use it.”
(AP) — Serena Williams withdrew from the U.S. Open on Friday, saying she is still recovering from surgery to repair cuts on her right foot.
The top-ranked Williams has won three titles at Flushing Meadows, part of her 13 Grand Slam singles championships, the most among active women. Last year, she lost in the U.S. Open semifinals after a tirade at a line judge over a foot-fault call, an outburst that drew a record fine.
“It is with much frustration and deep sadness that I am having to pull out of the U.S. Open,” Williams said in a statement released by her publicist.
Good news for Memphis Tigers fans: the NCAA declared Will Barton eligible for the 2010-11 season.
“Obviously, we are very pleased with the decision from the NCAA that clears Will for competition this season,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. “We (the university) continued to provide additional documentation to the NCAA for its review, which is part of its routine process.”
A consensus top-15 national recruit, Barton came to Memphis after playing at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire in 2009-10. In his one season at Brewster, the 6-foot-6 guard averaged 20.8 points in helping lead the Bobcats to a 35-4 overall record and the National Prep Championship crown. Barton was named the MVP of the National Prep Championship tournament after scoring 24 points in the title game. He was also selected the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) Class A Player of the Year for 2009-10.