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 — It isn’t exactly The Beatles playing Shea Stadium, but Duke and Gonzaga will draw a crowd Monday in Kansas City.
Some 43 NBA scouts have requested credentials for the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Championship Round to see players like Duke’s Kyrie Irving and Kyle Singlerand Gonzaga’s Steven Gray.
“Forty-three is a lot,” said Ray Cella of the Gazelle Group, which is putting on the event Monday and Tuesday. “Obviously, when you get quality teams coming to one place everybody wants to come out.”
No. 1 Duke meets Marquette at 7:30 and Jacob Pullen and No. 3 Kansas State face No. 11 Gonzaga at 9:30 (both on ESPN2).
“Gonzaga may not go out to the Midwest all that often, so you now got an opportunity to see Gonzaga,” Cella said. “Duke I don’t think goes out to the Midwest all that often. Obviously, Kansas State and Marquette are out there.
“So many scouts are regional scouts. Now you’re going to get another set of eyes looking at guys that ordinarily are seen by the one guy who’s in that area.”
It remains unclear whether Gonzaga’s Elias Harris will play in the game. Harris left Tuesday’s game against San Diego State with an Achilles’ tendon injury. The Achilles isn’t torn and Harris’ status remains undetermined.
“Hopefully, Elias is going to be able to play,” Cella said.
DraftExpress.com projects Harris as the No. 21 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
The site has four Duke players going in the first round: Irving at No. 3, sophomore forward Mason Plumlee at No. 11, senior guard Nolan Smith at No. 22 and Singler, a senior forward, at No. 23.
“You’re talking about a lot of quality players and it’s a chance for a lot of people to see them,” Cella said.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.