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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 / November 30.
  • West Virginia coach Bob Huggins is traveling with a bodyguard after he was heckled by a fan a week ago in Las Vegas.

    OK, C.J. Culliton is not being called a “bodyguard,” but rather a “security” person.

    “I wouldn’t say it’s a bodyguard. He’s the head of our security,” Bryan Messerly, the school’s sports information director, told the Charleston Gazette. “I think it’s just to have someone here and if he sees something that could get out of control he can talk to the appropriate security people [at the venue].”

    A year ago at this time, Seton Hall was 7-7 with home losses to Dayton and Richmond and a neutral-site loss to Arkansas.

    A year later, the Pirates — who lost Jeremy Hazell and Jeff Robinson to graduation — are 12-2 with a road win over Dayton, home victories over  West Virginia, Wake Forest and Auburn and neutral-site wins over VCU and St. Joe’s.

    Seton Hall had 13 wins all of last season and already has one short of that before the calendar turns to 2012.

    That turnaround prompted Mike Rice — yes, he of the archrival New Jersey Big East school — to tell SNY earlier this week, ”[Kevin Willard] right now is probably the [Big East] Coach of the Year. Him and JT3.”

    Missouri coach Frank Haith denied a report that his staff had tampered with Pittsburgh forward Khem Birch. 

    “We haven’t asked for a release,” Haith told Sporting News. “We haven’t done anything with the kid.”

    Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com reported that sources told him Missouri was the only school to which Pitt would deny a release if they asked.

    A former McDonald’s All-American, the 6-foot-9 Birch told Pitt coach Jamie Dixon in mid-December he would transfer.