March 2011 | Page 15 of 24 | 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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Friday / July 10.
  • NEW YORK — Lance Stephenson might as well get a cot and move into Madison Square Garden this weekend.

    “Born Ready” was courtside Saturday night to watch his old friend Kemba Walker and the UConn Huskies beat Louisville, 69-66, for the Big East championship.

    The Brooklyn native will be right back at the Garden on Sunday at 1 p.m. to watch his alma mater, Lincoln High School, take on Boys & Girls for the PSAL championship.

    And then Stephenson will cap off his Big Apple weekend when his Indiana Pacers visit the Knicks at 6 o’clock.

    NEW YORK — Kemba Walker
    called it.

    Following UConn’s loss to Notre Dame in the regular-season finale March 5 in Storrs, Conn., Walker made a bold prediction to his mother, Andrea.

    “Don’t worry, ma,” Kemba told his mother. “We are bringing home the Big East trophy.”

    Exactly a week later, Walker and his teammates set a national postseason record by winning their fifth game in five days by knocking off Louisville, 69-66, to win UConn’s first Big East tournament title since 2004.

    Kevin Boyle’s name has been associated with the Monmouth vacancy since Dave Calloway resigned.

    Now the St. Patrick coach has confirmed he would be interested in making the jump from high school to college.

    “If I’m at St. Patrick for another 20 years, I’ll be perfectly happy,” Boyle told Steve Edelson of the Asbury Park Press. “That being said, I’m 48 years old, I’ve got two kids in college – a son at Emerson and a daughter at Villanova – and those are significant bills every year. As a high school coach, you’re putting four and five things together, including camps and speaking engagements, to make that work. And it can fluctuate based on the economy.

    “I think there’s a little more stability with a college job that’s paying what you need to meet your bills, and if it’s something that’s enticing from a basketball standpoint, I am interested.”

    Paul Hewitt turned down a chance to coach St. John’s last season in order to remain at Georgia Tech.

    Now, he’s out of a job.

    “I am very appreciative of Paul Hewitt’s dedication to Georgia Tech for the last 11 years,” Georgia Tech AD Dan Radakovich said. “Paul is an outstanding person who has made a positive impact on so many of our student-athletes.”

    The University will reportedly buy out Hewitt for the $7 million he is owed.

    Plus, with coaching vacancies opening up around the country, Hewitt’s name could surface at a place like Providence.

    Hewitt, who took over for Bobby Cremins prior to the 2000-01 season, went 190-162 in 11 seasons with the Yellow Jackets. His overall career coaching record was 256-189 in 14 seasons.

    NEW YORK — Rick Pitino and Ralph Willard say former Seton Hall  coach Bobby Gonzalez is “bitter, silly and adolescent” because of his recent comments about Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard.

    “He’s a bitter man right now, and he’s not learning his lessons,” Pitino told exclusively after Louisville advanced to the Big East championship game against UConn with an 83-77 overtime victory against Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden.

    “I want him to turn around his life,” added Pitino, who helped both Gonzalez and Kevin Willard get their jobs at Seton Hall. “I want him to have success  and when he stops making comments like that, he’ll turn the corner. It’s silly. It’s adolescent behavior.

    “But that being said, I want him to turn around his life and I want him to start to say the positive things.”