April 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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Wednesday / May 22.
  • Just when you thought St. John’s had wrapped up its 2011 recruiting class with God’s Gift, the Johnnies have offered 6-foot-9 forward Daouda Soumaoro of Our Savior New American.

    “Yes, St. John’s offered a scholarship,” the 6-foot-9, 218-pound Soumaoro said Saturday by text after his official visit to the campus. “I like a lot of things about St. John’s. Great coaches and good education.”

    Soumaoro is also considering Iona and Texas Tech, and said he may trip to those schools next week.

    Paul Hewitt is the new coach at George Mason, according to CBSSports.com, which first reported the story.

    Georgia Tech fired Hewitt after 11 seasons, including five NCAA Tournament trips and an appearance in the 2004 national championship game. He was 190-162 during his tenure with the Jackets.

    George Mason features several local products on its roster, including sophomore guard Sherrod Wright of Mount Vernon, redshirt-freshman forward Paris Bennett of Linden, N.J., and junior forward Ryan Pearson of Christ the King.

    The Knicks and President Donnie Walsh are close to announcing a two-year contract extension, a source close to Walsh said.

    “It will be a two-year deal,” the source said.

    Today is the deadline for Knicks owner Jim Dolan to exercise the last $5 million year on Walsh’s initial contract, but the two sides can mutually agree to another deal going forward.

    “There are other answers to what you guys have made a big deal out of, but I’m not going to go into it right now,” Walsh, 70, said recently of potentially agreeing to a deal by June 30, when the current deal expires. “It’s my own personal, private business.”

    Walsh seeks more control within the organization and was reportedly upset last summer when Dolan brought Isiah Thomas in as a consultant, an agreement that was ultimately voided by the NBA because of a conflict of interest.

    If you are a college AD or administrator and you find yourself talking to Pete Thamel of The New York Times, odds are something ain’t right.

    It’s kind of like when a corporate executive or government official finds him or herself staring smack into the cameras of “60 Minutes” and uttering something like, “I have no knowledge of that event,” or “I can’t recall the details.”

    The latest college basketball controversy the Times investigated centers around Central Florida recruit Kevin Ware and Kenneth Caldwell, a Chicago man with a criminal record who comes off as a runner for Andy Miller’s ASM Sports agency and who is directing kids toward UCF. Here’s the link to the Times story. And here’s a good follow-up by  Pat Forde of ESPN.com.

    Both stories also delve into the recruitment of 6-10 Michael Chandler of Lawrence North in Indianapolis, who committed to Louisville and Xavier before landing at UCF.

    Kelvin Amayo wants to play in the Big East Conference but is uncertain if he will end up there.

    Amayo’s teammates at Newark Nia Prep, Shaquille Thomas (Cincinnati) and Ryan Rhoomes (TCU), are both headed to the Big East (TCU beginning in 2012), and he wants the chance to compete against them.

    “I want to play against Shaq and Ryan,” the Hillside, N.J., said Friday by phone. “I gotta kill Shaq and Ryan when they get to the Big East.”

    Right now, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Amayo is considering Seton Hall, Towson and the College of Charleston. He will take officials next week to Towson (Tuesday) and Charleston (Thursday).

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