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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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Sunday / June 23.
  • Future Rutgers Backcourt in SNY Invitational

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    As Rutgers coach Mike Rice prepares his team to face No. 2 Pittsburgh on Saturday night at the RAC, his future backcourt will be on display in the SNY Invitational.

    “I think it’s going to be incredible,” Rice said of the event. “I’ll watch it on TV.”

    Rutgers associate head coach David Cox and assistant Van Macon plan to be in the stands at LIU-Brooklyn Friday to watch 2011 Rutgers signees Myles Mack and Mike Taylor.

    Taylor and Boys & Girls face Rice at 6 p.m., followed by Mack and St. Anthony against Mount Vernon at 8 o’clock.

    If both teams win, Taylor and Mack could square off in Saturday’s championship at 4 p.m.

    The 5-foot-7 Mack is averaging 16.6 points, 3.3 assists and 2.7 steals for an undefeated Friars team (12-0) that is No. 2 in the USA Today Super 25.

    He figures to compete for the starting point guard spot at Rutgers next season along with incoming frosh Jerome Seagears.

    “It’s difficult to win [in the Big East], let alone having freshman point guards, so I’m very pleased with how he’s accepted the level of demand Coach [Bob] Hurley places upon his guards,” Rice said. “He’s playing with tremendous poise. I know he’s an explosive scorer but he’s doing the other things to help them win ballgames.”

    Rice asked Hurley to work on Mack’s defensive skills before arriving in the Big East next season.

    Hurley, in turn, compared Mack to his son, former Duke star Bobby Hurley, now an assistant at Wagner under his younger brother, Dan.

    “We always used to give [Bobby] somebody else to guard and we’d have somebody else take the tougher guy,” Hurley said last month. “Myles is in basically the same position so it’s up to him now to spend this whole year working defensively. The other skills are there. He’s an excellent offensive player.”

    Asked if Mack could step into a Big East game right now and have an impact on the offensive end, Rice answered, “Are you kidding me? Yes, yes. He’s that type of scorer.”

    A streaky 3-point shooter, the 6-4 Taylor is averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds for Boys & Girls (17-3), ranked No. 22 by USA Today.

    He scored 25 points last year when Boys won the PSAL championship over Cardozo at MSG, enabling head coach Ruth Lovelace to become the first female coach ever to win a city title.

    “He just took over the game and that was it,” Boys assistant Elmer Anderson said. “He took over the game and led us to the championship.”

    Taylor enters the SNY Invitational 12 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

    “Mike is somebody that has a lot of raw offensive skills and has a scorer’s mentality that I think will help us in the future at Rutgers,” Rice said.

    Taylor said he’s looking forward to playing for Rice next season and becoming the best player he can be.

    “I don’t want to play for a coach that’s going to baby me and let me do whatever I want,” Taylor said. “I want somebody to be on me so I can get better and after I go to college, maybe get to the next level after that.”


    **SNY feature on Rice High School; Ruth Lovelace talk Boys & Girls

    **SNY feature on Mike Taylor

    **SNY feature on West Virginia-bound Jabarie Hinds

    **SNY feature on Bob Hurley

    **Hurley working on Mack’s defense

    **Mike Taylor to Rutgers

    **Myles Mack to Rutgers

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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.

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