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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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Sunday / May 26.
  • Things continue to get wild in Westwood.

    No. 24 UCLA, off to a 4-2 start that included Sunday’s loss to Cal Poly, announced that junior center Josh Smith has left the team.

    “Joshua is a fine young man who has meant a lot to this program,” said UCLA head coach Ben Howland. “I know I speak for myself and my staff when I thank him for his time in Westwood and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

    Smith is the second player to leave the program in four days, following the transfer announcement of junior guard Tyler Lamb.

    Bruce Ellington, a two-sport star at South Carolina, is back playing with the basketball team and could potentially see action in Thursday’s SEC/Big East Challenge at St. John’s.

    The 5-foot-9 Ellington plays wide receiver, “Wildcat” quarterback and kick returner on the football team and point guard on the basketball team. He caught two touchdown passes in the Gamecocks’ 27-17 victory at Clemson on Saturday.

    “I’m pretty sure that Bruce is going to travel with us,” South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin said Wednesday at his weekly press conference. “Whether he’ll play or not, I don’t know.”

    After stridently defending the Big East conference over the last year and saying he “wouldn’t mind dying a Big East coach,” Rick Pitino and his Louisville Cardinals are now leaving the league.

    Louisville is headed to the ACC in 2014 after that league’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Wednesday morning to add the school as its 14th member.

    “I thought it was great for the city, great for the university, but most of all great for our fans because there’s too much bad news coming out of the Big East that I love so much, still do,” Pitino told WHAS Wednesday in Louisville.

    With Karl Towns set to announce his college choice Dec. 4 at St. Joe’s-Metuchen High School, he took one last visit to Kentucky this past weekend for the team’s game with LIU-Brooklyn.

    The Wildcats won the game, 104-75, on Friday night.

    “He went there just to check it out,” Karl Towns Sr. told SNY.tv Tuesday. “We went down to check it out, ride around and look at the campus.”

    With his team about to face Kentucky Thursday night in the SEC/Big East Challenge, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey says it’s unfair to compare Kentucky freshmen center Nerlens Noel to Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets.

    “It’s kind of unfair to Nerlens to be making the Anthony Davis comparison even though it’s unescapable,” Brey said Tuesday on a conference call. “I guess it’s just going to happen.

    “Let Noel just develop as he’s developing.”

    Several NBA scouts agree.

    “Anthony Davis is going to be in the Hall of Fame, so to compare anybody to Anthony Davis is not going to end up being fair,” one NBA Director of Scouting told SNY.tv.

    The Big East has already branched out to California, Idaho, Texas and Florida, so why not Louisiana and North Carolina?

    Tulane, currently in Conference USA, will join the Big East in all sports in 2014-15, along with incoming members Memphis, Houston, UCF and SMU. East Carolina will join for football only in 2014.

    “I am pleased and excited to welcome Tulane University to the Big East Conference,” Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “Tulane University is an outstanding academic institution and is committed to excellence in athletics. They will be a valued member of the Big East.”

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