August 2011 | Page 11 of 21 | 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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Sunday / April 21.
  • ELIZABETH, N.J. — The stars have shone brightly at St. Patrick High School over the years.

    Al Harrington, Sam Dalembert, Shaheen Holloway, Derrick Caracter, Corey Fisher, Dexter Strickland, Kyrie Irving, Michael Gilchrist, Derrick Gordon and Dakari Johnson have all come through the small New Jersey Catholic school in recent years.

    But after losing to St. Anthony in last year’s unofficial national championship game at Rutgers, Gilchrist departed for Kentucky, Gordon went to Western Kentucky and the 6-foot-11 Johnson followed head coach Kevin Boyle out the door to Montverde (Fla.) Academy.

    With the loss of Jeremy Hazell and Jeff Robinson from last year’s team, Seton Hall will need contributions from a number of people in coach Kevin Willard’s second season.

    One of those people is 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Patrik Auda.

    Auda’s experience this summer with the Czech Republic at the World University Games in China should provide a big boost.

    Auda is averaging a team-best 15.3 points on his team while shooting 58.6 percent from the floor and is second with 7.6 rebounds a game.

    He put up 16 points and seven rebounds in a 66-63 loss to Germany. On Tuesday, he posted a team-best 21 points and eight boards in an 87-71 loss to Romania.

    Daniel Dingle has seven schools on his list and at this point all of them have a shot at the 6-foot-7 power forward from St. Raymond’s in The Bronx.

    “I’m going to decide in the fall and get it out the way,” Dingle said Saturday night at the inaugural Franchise Classic. “I’m comfortable with the schools I have so I have no problem committing early.”

    Dingle’s list features Temple, Auburn, Arizona, UMass, Seton Hall, Maryland and Missouri.

    “I’m going to take three [official visits] and then see how it goes,” he said. “If I feel comfortable with that school I’m going to commit. If not, then I’ll take two more.”

    During Bob Hurley’s first year as head coach of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony in 1973, the Friars beat St. Patrick in the North Jersey Parochial C championship game and the right to go to the state final.

    Across the next four decades, St. Anthony and St. Patrick fashioned one of the most intense high school basketball rivalries in the nation, accounting for a combined 16 New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles.

    Part of the peculiarity of the rivalry was that the two powerhouses, located just 14 miles apart in North Jersey, usually had to play one another to advance out of the North B bracket and into the State final. Hurley and former St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle developed their own personal and heated rivalry along the way.

    Anytime you bring in a recruiting class of nine players, there can be complications and casualties along the way.

    Yet St. John’s expects every member of its nine-man class — ranked No. 3 nationally — to be academically eligible for the 2011-12 season.

    “We are hopeful in anticipating that all of our incoming men’s basketball student-athletes will meet their NCAA eligibility requirements and join us on campus for classes in a few short weeks,” said Mark Fratto, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Communications.

    NEW YORK — Jim Calhoun hasn’t stated publicly yet whether he will return as the head coach at defending NCAA champion UConn.

    But after spending the month of July on the recruiting trail, he’s telling recruits he’s in it for the long haul.

    “He said, ‘As long as I’m standing, I’m going to be coaching,'” Christ the King guard Omar Calhoun, who committed to UConn for 2012, told SNY.tv Saturday after he scored a team-best 34 points in Team New York’s victory over Team USA in the inaugural Franchise Classic.

    “He said he wants to make me reach my potential. He wants to get me to the NBA. That’s the kind of coach I want to play for.”


    ELIZABETH, N.J
    . — Only a handful of onlookers were there Monday evening when Kyrie Irving drained four straight 3-pointers, two from midcourt, in the bandbox that is the St. Patrick High School gym.

    “He’s shooting the shot from halfcourt like it was [nothing],” said Darrian Collins, a rising 5-foot-9 junior guard from St. Pat’s.

    “It hit the rim, though,” joked another onlooker, underscoring the fact that one of Irving’s long-distance shots wasn’t a perfect midcourt swish.

    The 6-foot-3 Irving (wearing blue shorts and a white T-shirt in the video) was the No. 1 pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Draft this summer, but on this night he was just another one of the guys. One of the many talented former and current Celtics playing pickup in the school’s tiny gym.

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