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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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Thursday / November 21.
  • After four years of watching Fred Hill match wits with Bobby Gonzalez, New Jersey basketball fans will witness the beginning of a new chapter in the Rutgers-Seton Hall rivalry at high noon on Saturday.

    First-year coaches Mike Rice of Rutgers and Kevin Willard of Seton Hall — both hired after their predecessors were fired last spring — will face off for the first time in the Big East at The Prudential Center (noon, SNY).

    “We have a very tough game against Rutgers on Saturday,” said Willard, who, as the coach of Iona, went 0-2 against Rice and Robert Morris. “It’s a rival game so we’re looking forward to it. Mike has done a terrific job so far and we’re looking forward to a very tough game.”

    No matter whether Seton Hall (8-11, 2-5 Big East) or Rutgers (11-7, 2-4) wins this particular game, the two programs will continue to battle for recruits in the Garden State and beyond for years to come.

    Ever since Joe Quinlan stepped down last September, Seton Hall University has been operating without a full-time athletic director.

    That will soon change as the school is ready to begin interviewing for Quinlan’s replacement.

    “The search has officially begun,” said Seton Hall Law School dean Patrick Hobbs (pictured), who has been overseeing the athletic department since July. “I have about 14 or 15 expressions of interest at this point. The committee will meet on Monday to begin review and we go from there.”

    Hobbs, who has undertaken a massive overhaul of the athletic department that included the firing of former men’s basketball coach Bobby Gonzalez and the retirement of former women’s coach Phyllis Mangina, said he hopes to have someone in place within the next couple of months.

    NEW YORK — When Tyshawn Taylor seemed to indicate a year ago on Facebook that he might be transferring from Kansas, Jayhawks coach Bill Self put an end to it.

    For good.

    “He posted something we didn’t like much and so we kind of banned him from that,” Self recalled recently with a smile. “If he loves social networking, he’s really not getting a chance to express himself through it right now.”

    NEW YORK — After Phil Greene committed to St. John’s last Sunday, he received congratulatory phone calls from many of his future teammates.

    That’s when he felt he was truly joining a “family.”

    “I talked to all of them after I committed,” the 6-foot-2 point guard from Chicago said by phone on The Big East Report. “They just wanted to congratulate me and welcome me to the family.”

    Desmond Hubert, the 6-foot-9 forward from New Egypt (N.J.) High, is down to North Carolina and Maryland and will decide this spring after officially receiving an offer from Carolina coach Roy Williams.

    “It’s hard not to be excited about it a little bit just because it’s North Carolina,” Hubert told Alex Kline of The Recruit Scoop, who first reported the news.

    The No. 15 center in the Class of 2011, Hubert would be willing to redshirt a year “to build his body up,” a source with knowledge said.

    He recently informed Wake Forest, Princeton and Villanova that they were no longer on his list.