December 2012 | Zagsblog
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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 / October 22.
  • Jason Hasson’s Pope John XXIII (N.J.) team is loaded with talent.

    In addition to 2013 forward Jermaine Lawrence, who is down to St. John’s, Cincinnati and UNLV, and freshman point guard Bryce Aiken, whom we profiled here, the team also features 6-9 2015 forward Moustapha Diagne.

    Diagne has recently added offers from Oregon State, George Mason, La Salle, Rider and Towson to go along with previous ones from West Virginia and Cleveland State. Cincinnati and Xavier recently watched him at the Hoop Group Tip-Off event.

    MeloAmareBy JOSH NEWMAN

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony may have scrimmaged together in practice on Monday afternoon for the first time this season, but the return of one or even both stars remains up in the air.

    Anthony has missed the last two games with a hyperextended left knee and did not go full in practice on Monday, while Stoudemire, out the entire season to this point after left knee surgery in the preseason, went full on Monday. Both players remain questionable to play on Tuesday against the Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden.

    Here’s the Big East release this week, including the Player and Rookie of the Week honors.

    The first conference game of the 2012-13 Big Esat season takes place this afternoon as No. 8 Cincinnati visits No. 24 Pittsburgh on ESPN2.

    ·         Cincinnati visited Pittsburgh on the first day of 2012, winning 66-63 Jan. 1, before today’s meeting on the last day of the calendar year.

    ·         Nearly 80 percent of Big East regular-season league games (107 of 135) will include at least one NCAA tournament team from last year. Thirty-seven league games will be between two NCAA tournament teams.

    The last time Kevin Boyle and Dakari Johnson were involved in a basketball game in the state of New Jersey, they lost the mythical national championship to coach Bob Hurley and arch-rival St. Anthony in March 2011.

    Now, nearly two years later they will make a triumphant return to the Garden State.

    Boyle, Johnson and their Montverde (Fla.) Academy teammates are ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN after winning the prestigious City of Palms Classic. Their next stop after winning that event will be the Holiday Hoops for Troops event at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic Jan. 2-3.

    “I feel good coming back to New Jersey,” the 6-foot-11 Johnson, who is considering Kentucky, Syracuse and Georgetown, told SNY.tv. “To go back home and see my friends and also my family, they will get to see me play so I am very excited.”


    By MATT FALKENBURY

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The next several days will be critical for the Knicks, but whether or not both Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony will be able to return to the court on New Year’s Day against the Portland Trail Blazers remains to be seen.

    For the first time since having surgery on his left knee before the season started, Stoudemire practiced with the Knicks in the hopes that he could be ready for Tuesday.

    After practice, Stoudemire expressed a more wait-and-see approach.

    “I felt better today than I did yesterday, so hopefully I get a good reaction out of it tonight and tomorrow, see how it feels, but it’s all predicated on how I feel the following day after a long, hard day after today,” he said. “Practice was really good, I was able to move how I wanted to with a little bit of a restriction, but not much so its definitely an improvement.”

    Rick Pitino often talks wistfully about his time as the head coach at Kentucky as Camelot.

    He mentions how he left Camelot too early in order to pursue greener pastures as the head coach of the Boston Celtics.

    Now the head coach at Louisville, Pitino can never return to Camelot.

    By his own admission, the Louisville fan base is not the same as the Kentucky fan base. Kentucky fans can “infiltrate” games at the KFC Yum! Center, but Louisville fans cannot do the same at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena.

    Still, with No. 4 Louisville’s 80-77 victory over Kentucky Saturday afternoon before a nationally televised audience, Pitino and his charges took a step toward something special.

    “Quite frankly, I don’t think we’re anywhere near our potential,” Pitino said post-game.