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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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Friday / September 22.
  • Junior point guard Larry Drew II has abruptly left the North Carolina Tar Heels.

    “He packed his sh– and left school,” a source close to the program said.

    On Jan. 18, Drew lost the starting point guard spot to freshman Kendall Marshall.

    Yet Drew had played well of late off the bench, handing out 18 assists with just two turnovers in the three games since the switch.

    “This morning I spoke to Larry Drew Sr. and he informed me that it was in Larry II’s best interest to leave North Carolina at this time,” Carolina coach Roy Williams said in a statement.

    The Knicks on Saturday officially named Mark Warkentien director, pro player personnel.

    Warkentien will consult president Donnie Walsh on preparation for the NBA Draft, have scouting assignments and will advise on personnel moves.

    “Mark is an excellent basketball operations executive and we are pleased to add him to our staff of highly accomplished executives and scouts,” Walsh said. “Mark will serve as a consultant and adviser and I look forward to working with him.”

    Lekan Ajayi, a 6-foot-11, 240-pound senior center from Quality Education Academy (N.C.), is setting his schedule of visits.

    Ajayi said he’s recently added offers from Arizona, Miami and Virginia Tech to a list that previously included Loyola Marymount, Florida, Seton Hall, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

    Ajayi will take officials to LMU Feb. 14-16 and Florida Feb. 23-25.

    He also plans to visit Seton Hall and Tennessee officially, and then decide between Arizona and Miami for his fifth, and final, official.

    As UCLA gets ready to host St. John’s in a nationally televised game Saturday afternoon, Bruins coach Ben Howland has more to worry about than the game itself.

    He needs to watch out for Steve Lavin coming into his backyard and making off with top California recruits.

    “I think it’s a major factor,” Jerry Meyer, national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, said Friday by phone.

    Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard has landed his first big man for the Class of 2011 in 6-11, 270-pound Isaiah Hill of God’s Academy (Texas.)

    “I committed last week,” Hill said Friday by phone. “They was the only school that was interested in me. It seemed like they cared about me.”

    Hill took an unofficial visit to Seton Hall Jan. 22 during the Rutgers game at The Rock. He was recruited by assistant coach Chris Pompey.

    Knicks president Donnie Walsh says he’s “embarrassed” about the attention he’s drawn because of the uncertainty over his contract status.

    Walsh’s three-year deal expires June 30 and team owner Jim Dolan has yet to inform Walsh if the franchise will pick up his option for next season. The club must make a decision by April 30.

    “There is a date. We’re not close to it,” Walsh, 69, told the New York Times.

    “It’s abnormal when a guy jumps up ahead of time and does something.”

    Speculation is running rampant that Dolan may still want to replace Walsh with Isiah Thomas — despite Thomas’s checkered past, including the latest fines issued by the NBA because scout Rodney Heard held illegal workouts.