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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 / December 9.
  • Tony Woods, the dismissed Wake Forest center, will arrive at Oregon in early August for summer school and will be immediately eligible to play in the 2011-12 season.

    “He really liked his visits, the people and the team,” Norm Parker, Woods’ AAU coach with the Georgia Stars, said by phone. “He felt like a fresh start worked out good for him. He feels like he can go out and contribute right away and help that team.”

    Woods averaged 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds as a sophomore at Wake.

    The 6-foot-11 Woods was dismissed from Wake Forest last October after a domestic violence incident in which he kicked and pushed his girlfriend, Courtney Lorel Barbour, in front of their 8-month-old child.

    Reiterating comments Tony Parker made last month, his AAU coach, Norm Parker, said the big man’s top three schools are Duke, Ohio State and Memphis.

    “I think those three are his top schools,” Norm Parker said Saturday by phone from Orlando. “He’s probably taken unofficials to all those schools and I think he would probably go back on his officials. I gotta believe that he will make a decision from there.”

    “Right now I’m still open but those schools are recruiting me the hardest,” Tony Parker said last month.

    Chris Thomas, the No. 1 shooting guard in the Class of 2013, has landed at South Kent (Conn.).

    A Denver native, Thomas was at Westwind (Ariz.) Prep for the second semester last season but never played because he arrived late, and before that was at Bowie (Md.) Princeton Day.

    “Chris is a tremendous talent and I am excited about the opportunity to coach him,” South Kent coach Kelvin Jefferson told SNY.tv. “Chris has great size and athleticism for the guard position. He should make an immediate impact.”

    Odds are, Shabazz Muhammad will ultimately wind up at Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, Texas, UCLA or some other basketball blueblood.

    But don’t count out UNLV.

    Vegas is the hometown school for the 6-foot-6 Bishop Gorman star who dropped 39 points Friday to help his Dream Vision 17s overcome a 12-point first-half deficit and beat the Atlanta Celtics, 87-80, in the adidas 64.

    “UNLV is doing a really good job of recruiting me, and even the fans are recruiting me,” Muhammad told the hometown Las Vegas Sun. “That’s what it’s all about: You want to have fun with your recruitment. Everybody’s here. My family’s here. I’ve lived here 12 years. My coach’s brother is the head coach. I really like the program, so they’re going to continue to be in my recruitment.”

    Notre Dame Prep shooting guard Ricky Ledo has accepted an invitation to visit next week with Puerto Rico Basketball Federation executives, practice with the team and see if he wants to represent Puerto Rico in Olympic qualifying.

    “Ricky’s dream has always been to play for the USA team, that’s his dream,” Todd Quarles, a close family friend and founder of the Expression Elite AAU team, said Friday by phone. “And he wants to make sure that if he goes down there [to Puerto Rico] it won’t hurt any possibilities, but at the same time to explore every opportunity.

    Maurice Harkless has been cleared by the NCAA and will suit up for St. John’s as a freshman in 2011-12.

    The school issued the following statement Friday.

    “We are pleased that late Thursday, the NCAA informed us they have concluded their review of incoming men’s basketball student-athlete, Maurice Harkless. Harkless will now be a part of the incoming 2011 class that will begin school in the fall semester. We have been working in collaboration with the Big East Conference and the NCAA’s Basketball Focus Group throughout the review process.”