March 2011 | Zagsblog
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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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Monday / July 22.
  • HOUSTON — NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed Thursday that the league is “looking into” Jay-Z‘s impromptu visit Sunday to the Kentucky locker room at The Prudential Center.

    After Kentucky beat North Carolina to win the East Regional, Jay-Z appeared in the Wildcats locker room and met with potential lottery picks Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones, as well as Darius Miller and Josh Harrellson.

    The situation is not an NCAA violation, but the NBA has concerns.

    “We are looking into it,” Frank said by text.

    HOUSTON – Two players and a coach engaged in a heartfelt embrace last Saturday after UConn beat Arizona to win the West Regional in Anaheim, Calif.

    One player, Kemba Walker, was overwhelmed by the moment. He and the Huskies were moving on to the Final Four for the second time in three years.

    The other, Lamont “Momo” Jones, and the Arizona assistant, Book Richardson, were crestfallen. Their season, which included a beatdown of defending national champion Duke in the regional semifinal, was suddenly over.

    IN THE AIR TO HOUSTON – Gary Charles doesn’t coach a college team, yet this is the eighth straight year one of his players will appear in the Final Four.

    As the head of the New York Panthers AAU team, Charles has seen alums like Lance Thomas (Duke), Danny Green (North Carolina), Joakim Noah (Florida), Charlie Villaneuva (UConn) and Tyquan Dean (Louisville) reach the Final Four. Green and Noah did it twice apiece.

    The streak was kept intact this year when 6-foot-4 Kentucky freshman guard Doron Lamb made the trip to Houston. The Wildcats will face UConn in the national semifinals Saturday, with Butler and VCU to meet in the other.

    Michael Gilchrist ended his St. Patrick career with a disappointing loss to St. Anthony in the unofficial high school national championship.

    But the Kentucky-bound senior wing rebounded with a win in the McDonald’s All-American Game.

    The 6-foot-7 Gilchrist tallied 16 points, 12 rebounds and four assists and Florida signee Brad Beal of Chaminade (St. Louis) added 17 points and four assists to lead the East team to a 111-96 win over the West before a sellout crowd of 20,019 at Chicago’s United Center.

    Stilman White, a 6-foot, 170-pound point guard out of Hoggard High School in Wilmington, N.C., has verbally committed to North Carolina after being offered a scholarship by head coach Roy Williams this week.

    White averaged 20.5 point, 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists for Hoggard and shot better than 50 from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc. He chose Carolina over UNC Wilmington, Brigham Young and Utah State.

    “I had a phone conversation with coach Williams,” White told WWAY of North Carolina. “I told him I was ready to be a Tar Heel. He said he was excited and he hoped I would be able to do good things up there. This is also a huge relief for me. This whole thing has been a burden on my shoulders the last couple weeks.”

    He could be a successor to current freshman point guard Kendall Marshall.

    Matt Painter will remain at Purdue instead of going to Missouri.

    After meeting with Missouri officials Wednesday in Florida about their coaching vacancy, Painter ultimately signed a new eight-year contract with Purdue through the 2018-19 season.

    Painter, 40, previously earned $1.3 million annually and made $1.9 million this year with incentives, according to The Indianapolis Star.

    Missouri’s offer was more than $2 million per year, the paper reported.

    Terms of the contract were not disclosed.