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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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Monday / December 18.
  • Liggins Says Kentucky Can Win It All

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    NEW YORK — Former Kentucky standout and Orlando Magic rookie DeAndre Liggins believes his alma mater is better this year than it was a year ago when it reached the Final Four with himself and fellow rookie Josh “Jorts” Harrellson of the Knicks.

    “Yeah, they’re more talented, they’re deeper,” the 6-foot-6 Liggins told SNY.tv prior to the Magic-Knicks game Monday at MSG. “I think they’re going to have a chance to win it all.”

    Kentucky coach John Calipari has led three schools to the Final Four — Kentucky, Memphis and UMass — yet two of those (Memphis and UMass) were wiped off the books.

    Liggins said it would mean something special for Calipari to finally win a national championship. The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 2 and have lost just once, to Indiana by one point on a last-second 3-pointer.

    “I think it will mean a lot to him,” Liggins said of Calipari. “He’s been there, chipping away. For him to win this year would be great.”

    Liggins believes the addition of Anthony Davis, the likely No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, is the key reason why this year’s incarnation of the Wildcats is better than last year’s.

    In Kentucky 65-62 win over Tennessee Saturday, the 6-11 Davis finished with 18 points and had four blocks to pull within one of tying the school season record of 83.

    “He’s real long, active, can block a lot of shots,” Liggins said. “He’s disruptive. He’s going to be a great player.”

    As for sophomore Terrence Jones, who has been criticized by some NBA scouts and observers as inconsistent, Liggins said: “He’s gotta get better each day in practice. He’s a lot better than last year. I’m sure he’s been practicing well.”

    As for his own career, Liggins came out as a junior because he said he “felt like it was time to move on.”

    A defensive specialist, he has been listed as inactive 10 times and has yet to play an NBA minute.

    “End of the day I’m happy I’m here,” he said. “When I get my chance I’ll be ready.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • miss liggins. loved his play and how he got at it.

    • Of course they’re more talented, they have players that will actually get minutes in the league. How much is Cal paying the Magic to keep this kid on the roster?

    • Weren’t they supposed to win it All the past few years? LOL

    • phog is back! done licking those wounds from that uk/ku match up? i remember you talking a ton of trash before that game…..wrong again. i’m sure sooner or later you will be right about something. keep it going…always gives me a laugh.

    • Yeah that’s it Kungpao, Cal is definitely paying the Orlando Magic to keep Liggins on their bench. That makes lots of sense.

    • Never went anywhere. LOL U woulda saw me talking to u of a bj had you been watching. With all that NBA Talent, cal or uk hasn’t imprtessed me yet. They should be blowing teams out and TJ should be averaging a double/double every game. Maybe he shoulda let Danny Coach him up to be a star. I did see uk lose to an unranked Hoosier Team though. *Chucles* And hear how all the uk fans are starting to praise Kansas and Bill Self, saying the KU/uk game looks even better now. Anyway…GAMETIME. Later Hater. LOL

    • why would i hate on a lesser team? losing to davidson…at home…..wow. taste of what is coming for ku. no wonder why you have to talk trash to a fan from a pac-12 school….thats just how low ku has gotten.

    • Yup, we real low huh? Goot 1!!! Jayhawks baby!! Fear the Phog!! Get some and go brush your tooth and go to sleep. Good luck with arKANSAS. HAHA

    • @GasCan, it makes more sense than paying a kid who will never be a factor in the league.

      Get your bags packed, kid, you’ll be in the Turkey before you know it. #anotherCalSuccessStory