By DAN KELLY & ADAM ZAGORIA
NEW YORK — The key for the Knicks’ chances of making a deep postseason run next spring lies in their ability to win the Atlantic Division title and secure a top seed in the East.
And their chances of doing that will be greatly enhanced if they can continue to defend the court at Madison Square Garden.
With their 108-87 victory over the hapless Washington Wizards Friday night, the Knicks improved to 11-4 overall, 6-0 at the Garden for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
Philly Vaux Roberts point guard Rysheed Jordan is down to three schools and could pull the trigger following a weekend visit to UCLA.
He is also considering St. John’s and hometown Temple.
“When I come back, I’m going to give a verbal commitment to one of those schools,” the 6-foot-3 Jordan told the Philly Inquirer.
Temple is the local school and is only about 10 blocks from his house.
Karl Towns will announce his college choice Tuesday at St. Joe’s-Metuchen.
The 6-foot-10 2015 big man visited Kentucky last weekend for the LIU Brooklyn game just days days before his announcement.
“It was just to get a second opinion of the school,” Towns told MSGVarsity in this video. “So going there for a second time I got to see a little more of the campus, my first ever glimpse of the campus actually.”
Towns was coached last summer by John Calipari and Orlando Antigua on the Dominican Republic National Team.
Towns is also considering Duke and Florida, among others.
By JOSH NEWMAN & ADAM ZAGORIA
Four Hofstra basketball players were arrested Thursday evening and charged with multiple counts of second-degree burglary in connection with a string of dorm-room burglaries at the Long Island university.
According to police and media reports, sophomore transfer and former Lincoln High School star Shaquille Stokes and freshmen Jimmy Hall, Kentrell Washington and Dallas Anglin stole more than an estimated $20,000 worth of iPads, iPods and laptops from six unlocked dorm rooms between Oct. 4 and Nov. 5. Some of the stolen items were sold on Craiglist and other locations.
Stokes was charged with five counts of burglary, Hall four, Washington two and Anglin one count each of burglary and tampering with evidence.
The players all pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Friday in Hempstead, N.Y., and were released on bail. All four players were supended from the school and the team.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Count Carmelo Anthony and Jason Kidd among Gregg Popovich’s biggest fans.
Both Knicks said they applauded Popovich’s decision to let four of his top five scorers miss Thursday night’s San Antonio Spurs game at Miami, won by the Heat, 105-100.
“I thought it was great,” Kidd said Friday at shootaround prior to the Knicks 108-87 victory over the hapless Washington Wizards.
“That’s his team. He’s the coach of that team. He has every right to do what he feels right for the team. It’s an older team.”
Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey has a scheduling conflict on Jan. 7.
His school’s undefeated football team will play in the BCS national championship game that night against either Alabama or Georgia, but his own basketball team is due to play a Big East game in Cincinnati.
When ESPN’s Dick Vitale joked on air with Brey that he should have the basketball game moved to Jan. 6, Brey cracked, “I may get thrown out at halftime and end up in an Irish bar in Cincinnati.”
Brey was in a jubilant mood after his Fighting Irish handled No. 8 Kentucky, 64-50, Thursday night in the Big East/SEC Challenge in South Bend behind Eric Atkins’s 16 points and 13 apiece from Jack Cooley and Jerian Grant.
Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon aren’t the only elite 2013 players drawing John Calipari’s interest.
The Kentucky coach was at Montverde (Fla.) Academy over the weekend to watch 6-foot-11 big man Dakari Johson, Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Johnson, a Brooklyn native who spent his middle school years at Sayre’s Middle School in Lexington, reclassifed to 2013 from 2014 and is considering Kentucky, Georgetown, Syracuse, Kansas, Florida, Ohio State and Missouri.
Georgetown and Missouri, which recently offered Johnson, watched Johnson on Wednesday and Florida and Ohio State have also been in recently, Roberts reported. Syracuse has also been in this fall.