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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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Tuesday / June 2.
  • NEW YORK — Pittsburgh guard Ashton Gibbs was named the 2011-12 Big East Preseason Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head men’s basketball coaches.  It is the fifth time in league history that a Pittsburgh player has captured Big East Preseason Player of the Year honors.

    Connecticut freshman center Andre Drummond was chosen Big East Preseason Rookie of the Year.  Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

    Gibbs is a 6-2 senior who was an All-Big East First Team selection last year.  He led the Panthers in scoring with a 16.8 average.  He was first in the league in 3-point shooting, making 49 percent, and second in free throw shooting, hitting at an 88.9-percent clip.  A native of Scotch Plains, N.J., Gibbs enters the season third on the Big East career list in 3-point shooting percentage at 45.4 percent.

    DaJuan Coleman will now visit Ohio State next weekend for what will be his last official visit, according to Jim Hart of the Albany City Rocks.

    “He went to Syracuse [Friday night] for the [West Virginia football] game and now he will take his last visit to OSU,” Hart said by text.

    “He has said all along that he will take all three visits and then decide. He’s a man of his word.”

    Coleman already visited Kentucky last weekend for Big Blue Madness.

    Despite losing Syracuse, Pittsburgh and TCU in recent weeks, Big East Commissioner John Marinatto says the league will once again reinvent itself moving forward.

    “When the dust settles, we will emerge stronger than ever,” Marinatto said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters.

    As part of a comprehensive realignment effort, the Big East unanimously voted to double its exit fee from $5 million to $10 million for football members and move forward toward an expansion plan that allows for 12 football playing members. The increase in exit fee will be triggered as progress is made in signing new members.

    Any current schools that opt to leave — UConn, Louisville and West Virginia are among those that have been mentioned — would have to pay the $10 million exit fee.

    Marinatto said he envisioned a football championship game in New York City similar to the Big East basketball tournament held each year at Madison Square Garden.

    Former Rutgers guard Corey Chandler and former Fordham and Quinnipiac forward Lance Brown have landed on the basketball team at Division 3 William Paterson University.

    They are expected to be on the roster when the Pioneers, led by head coach Jose Rebimbas, open the season Nov. 15 against York College.

    “I think me and Corey will bring great experience,” the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Brown told SNY.tv by phone. “Obviously, Corey coming from Rutgers, he [also] went to Binghamton, and me coming from Fordham and Quinnipiac, we got that Division 1 experience that not a lot of people on our team have. We can bring a lot of our past experience to the table.

    The giant game of musical chairs that is conference realignment is swirling at a rapid pace with significant new developments almost daily.

    In the latest round of news, the Big East has invited Houston to join for all sports, according to The Houston Chronicle, and Missouri is headed to the SEC, The New York Times reported.

    Big East Commissioner John Marinatto wil hold a conference call with reporters Tuesday in which he is expected to announce that the league approved raising its exit fee to $10 million from $5 million. It remains unclear to what degree Marinatto will address the addition of specific schools.

    Houston Wheatley point guard Josh Gray decommitted from Mississippi State over the weekend and has re-opened his recruitment.

    “Just me and my family wasn’t sure about the program,” the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Gray told SNY.tv by phone Monday. “We just decided to open it back up. We’re still considering Mississippi State.

    “I’m looking for a good situation, but I’m still considering Mississippi State.”

    Gray said he’s heard from Nebraska, Seton Hall, Georgia Tech and Penn State and hopes to visit all of the schools.

    Chris Walker and Kaleb Tarczewski both enjoyed their weekend visits to Kansas for “Late Night in the Phog” and could end up with the Jayhawks.

    The 6-foot-9 Walker, a 2013 big man out of Florida, said the visit was “great” and that he will “for sure” take an official visit to the school next year.

    He also said he now counts Kansas among his top three, along with Florida and Kentucky.