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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 / February 29.
  • ELIZABETH, N.J. — Dexter Strickland has already won a championship in high school.

    Now he’s a member of a North Carolina team ranked No. 1 in the college basketball preseason and seeking an NCAA championship.

    “It feels good [to be ranked No. 1], and also it brings a little pressure,” Strickland said earlier this week during a run at St. Patrick. “But at the same time we need that to help us have motivation during the season. Everybody’s coming out for us, and everybody has us marked down on the calendar, but that’s a good thing for us.

    New York-area fans looking to watch Kyle Anderson in person can check him out Sunday in the Battle of the Boroughs.

    The 6-foot-8 Anderson will suit up for the Harlem team against Brooklyn at 12:30 at the Gauchos Gym in The Bronx. The event features five games beginning at 11 a.m., with Queens against The Bronx.

    Anderson played Saturday night in the inaugural Franchise Classic in The Bronx and scored 28 points as Team NYC beat Team USA.

    Next weekend he heads to Venice Beach, Calif., to participate in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game.

    Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said he’s optimistic that incoming freshman Shaq Thomas of Newark NIA Prep will be cleared to play during the 2011-12 season.

    “Our compliance department is working with the NIA school as well as the NCAA and we’re confident that everything is going to work out,” Cronin told SNY.tv Friday morning.

    As first reported Thursday by SNY.tv, the 6-foot-7 Thomas is one of six NIA Prep athletes, including four basketball players, ruled ineligible by the NCAA. Alif Muhammad of NIA Prep said he is appealing on behalf of all six athletes.

    Ryan Rhoomes (Texas Christian), Kelvin Amayo (Towson) and Ibn Muhammad (Fairleigh Dickinson) are the other three basketball players.

    Everyone who has ever met Moe Hicks knows that he is a good and honorable man, a man who has worked for several decades as a basketball coach and teacher in New York City.

    But now for the second time in a period of months, Hicks, the St. John’s Director of Basketball Operations, has put the Red Storm in a negative light.

    In this picture obtained by Yahoo! Sports, Hicks, at left, is photographed along with then-Miami assistant basketball coach Jorge Fernandez (with back to camera), infamous Miami booster Nevin Shapiro and Miami football player Robert Marve.

    Shapiro told Yahoo! the picture was taken in October 2008 in the VIP section of a night club. (Hicks was not hired at St. John’s until 2010.)

    “I met Jorge Fernandez with [then-Miami assistant] Jake Morton,” Shapiro told Yahoo’s Charles Robinson. “After hanging out with them a few times, we became close and I did whatever I could to help them. As far as being out that night [at Dolce Ultra Lounge in October 2008], they were in my suite during the game earlier that day and I was introduced to Moe Hicks and two others [with the Miami basketball coaches].”

    Six athletes from Newark NIA Prep have been denied eligibility for the upcoming season and must appeal their eligibility to the NCAA, according to Alif Muhammad of NIA Prep.

    Among those six athletes are four basketball players — Ryan Rhoomes (Texas Christian), Shaq Thomas (Cincinnati), Kelvin Amayo (Towson), Ibn Muhammad (Fairleigh Dickinson) — as well as a football player and a soccer player Muhammad would not identify.

    “All six are appealing,” Muhammad said.

    Sources close to several of the basketball staffs confirmed the development.

    Muhammad said the NCAA had “accepted their high school diplomas from me,” but not the “classes they were taking toward their diplomas.”

    Here’s the video of the brawl that broke out between Georgetown and a Chinese men’s basketball team Thursday night.

    The benches cleared and fights erupted all over the court with about 9½ minutes left in the fourth quarter. The rest of the exhibition in Beijing between Georgetown and the Bayi Rockets was called off.

    Vice President Joe Biden was in China, but did not attend the game. On Wednesday, he watched the Hoyas beat the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons 98-81.

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