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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 18.
  • If Dominic Cheek hears his name called at all during the June 28 NBA Draft, it will likely be from Adam Silver and not David Stern.

    The 6-foot-6 Villanova junior wing may well go undrafted but is turning pro in order to help financially support his grandmother, Izaphine “Ice” Howard, who helped raised him from the age of 5 in the rugged city of Jersey City, N.J.

    “She’s getting old now,” Cheek told SNY.tv Thursday during a phone interview. “She’s taking care of two of my brothers and I guess it’s just time for me to try to pay her back, try to help her out.

    “Just try to help her out any possible way and just try to pursue my pro career.”

    Andre Drummond will go in the first five picks in the June 28 NBA Draft, one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv following the news that Drummond is headed to the pros.

    “Andre Drummond’s going 2 to 5,” the scout said. “That’s all based on potential because physically he’s probably the best physical specimen in the draft. He’s probably the most gifted guy in the draft physically, run, jump, strength, size, quickness. He’s other-worldly.”

    Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis is the presumptive No. 1 pick and as I wrote in this column from the Final Four, whoever gets the No. 2 pick will be disappointed.

    Still, after Davis the choices include Drummond, Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (who has yet to declare), North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, Kansas’s Thomas Robinson and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, among others.

    With all the college players transferring, here’s an early stab at a list of some of the players on the move and the landing spots they’re targeting or have already hit.

    If you have additional information on transfers, please email me at [email protected] and I will update this going forward.

    Logan Aronhalt, G, Albany (Transferred to Maryland)

    Chip Armelin, G, Minnesota (Transferred to Southern Miss)

    J.J. Avila, G, Navy (JUCO)

    Billy Baron, G, Rhode Island

    Gilvydas Biruta, F, Rutgers (Transferred to Rhode Island: Story here)

    Perris Blackwell, F, San Francisco (Transferred to Washington)

    Michael Bradley, F/C, UConn (Transferred to Western Kentucky; then to Vincennes Junior College)

    Chris Obekpa, the top available big man in the Class of 2012 now that Nerlens Noel is off the board, will visit Oregon later this month.

    The 6-foot-9 Obekpa out of Our Savior New American will trip to the Pac-12 school April 22-24, Our Savior assistant Eric Jaklitsch told SNY.tv.

    “He has seen them play on TV a few times this year,” he told SNY.tv. “He likes that they play an uptempo style of play and they press a lot. He knows [incoming point guard] Dominic Artis from the Nike Skills Academies.”

    Nerlens Noel, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, is headed to Kentucky

    “I’ll be taking my talents for college to play at the University of…”  the 6-foot-10 Noel said on ESPNU before revealing a “UK” shaved into the back of his hightop fade.

    “I just thought it was the best fit for me, personally. I talked to my mom. She liked it as well. She liked all three of the schools, but when it came down to it she liked Kentucky. She met both Coach Orlando [Antigua] and Coach [John] Calipari….She thought it was the best fit for me and I did, too.”

    Noel, who picked the reigning NCAA champs over Georgetown and Syracuse, is arguably a better shot-blocker, but not offensive player, than Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis, the presumptive No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft.

    Shabazz Muhammad is headed to Westwood.

    The 6-foot-6 scoring sensation out of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High announced for UCLA over Kentucky and Duke during an ESPNU program Wednesday night that followed a report by CBSSports.com indicating he would pick the Bruins.

    SNY.tv has consistenly projected Muhammad to UCLA throughout the process.

    Muhammad’s parents are both from Los Angeles. His father, Ron Holmes, played for USC. Muhammad’s sister, Asia, is ranked No. 386 on the WTA Tour and has a deal with adidas. Of the three schools on his final list, only UCLA is an adidas school.

    “It was down to Kentucky, Duke and UCLA and I chose to be a Bruin so I will be at UCLA next year,” he said.

    If you’re confused about who’s coming and who’s going from the Providence basketball team these days, you’re not alone.

    After some back and forth, Arlington (Fla.) Country Day point guard Ian Baker told SNY.tv he has committed to the Friars and will join the team next year along with a recruiting class of Kris Dunn, Ricky Ledo and Josh Fortune.

    “I did commit,” the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Baker told SNY.tv. “The thing I liked about Providence the most is my relationship with the head coach. It also seems like a great place. I’m going to be comfortable and have the opportunity to play right away according to coach [Ed] Cooley.”

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