January 2012 | Page 22 of 28 | Zagsblog
Recent Posts
About ZagsBlog
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.
Follow Zags on Twitter
Couldn't connect with Twitter
Contact Zags
Connect with Zags:
Friday / May 24.
  • PISCATAWAY, N.J. — It was only a small sample size.

    Two games in five days.

    But No. 8 UConn — the defending NCAA champs — got a taste of what New Jersey hoops could be during their Big East sojourn this week.

    In a nightmare span of five says, the Huskies lost to both Seton Hall and Rutgers, falling to the Scarlet Knights, 67-60, on Saturday night at a rockin’ RAC five nights after being throttled by the Pirates, 75-63, at The Rock.

    PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Alex Oriakhi played a critical role in UConn’s runs to Big East and NCAA championships last season.

    The 6-foot-9 Oriakhi averaged 9.6 points and 8.7 rebounds in 29.1 minutes last year when UConn won 11 straight postseason games for their third national championship.

    As a junior, however, Oriakhi  — a team co-captain along with sophomore guard Shabazz Napier — doesn’t look like the same person. He’s averaging 6.6 points and 4.9 boards in just 19.4 minutes.

    “Yeah, I definitely don’t feel like I’m the player [as last year], but then again I don’t feel I’m getting the same minutes,” Oriakhi told SNY.tv exclusively after his team lost 67-60 at Rutgers.

    PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Despite being projected as a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, UConn freshman Andre Drummond said he plans to return for his sophomore season.

    “As of right now, I know I’ll be back,” he told SNY.tv exclusively following No. 8 UConn’s 67-60 loss to Rutgers Saturday. “That’s all I could tell you, I’ll be back.”

    Even if you’re a Top 5 pick?

    “Yeah, I’ll be back,” added the 6-foot-11 Drummond, who tallied 10 points, 12 rebounds, seven turnovers, two blocks and one highlight-reel dunk in which he took off eight feet from the basket and flushed it.

    During his 20+-plus years as the head coach of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, Kevin Boyle ran one of the top programs in the nation, producing players like Dexter Strickland, Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

    Rutgers and Seton Hall often tried to land those players, and sometimes, as in the case of Shaheen Holloway (Seton Hall), they succeeded.

    But more often than not, Boyle’s top players went to places like North Carolina (Strickland), Duke (Irving) and Kentucky (Kidd-Gilchrist).

    “You always want to give the local schools a fair chance to recruit the kid, and you’d like to see them do well…but it’s also hard if you’re building, if it’s Seton Hall and Rutgers and Duke comes in, and North Carolina comes in,” Boyle told SNY.tv by phone this week.

    } });