February 2013 | Page 12 of 21 | 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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Friday / July 12.

    Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel, the projected No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft, will be out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL injury suffered during Tuesday night’s game at Florida.

    According to the UK medical staff, surgery should be expected in the next two to three weeks. The normal timetable for recovery is estimated at six to eight months.

    The 6-10 freshman was leading the nation in blocks (106) and blocks per game (4.4) and ranked second in the Southeastern Conference in rebounding (9.5). He was also averaging 10.5 points per game for the Wildcats.

    Noel is widely projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, but his status now remains uncertain.

    “I think he was the first pick,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “Now it’s in the twilight zone.”

    Noel could opt to remain in college for another year and come back and play a full year at Kentucky alongside a loaded recruiting class that includes five Jordan Brand All-Americans, or he could opt to come out early, rehab under the care of an NBA franchise and hope to come back during his rookie season in the NBA.

    Some of the highest-profile college basketball programs in the nation will be out in force this week for a couple of elite guards.

    Rashad Vaughn, the No. 12 player in the Rivals150 for the Class of 2014, will get an audience Friday with North Carolina which could lead to an offer.

    “Coach Roy Williams and Hubert Davis are going to be at our game this Friday,” Robbinsdale Cooper assistant coach Pete Kaffey told SNY.tv after the 6-foot-5 shooting guard went for 28 points and 12 rebounds in Tuesday’s win.

    PISCATAWAY, N.J. — This was probably as close to a must-win as Rutgers coach Mike Rice has had in his three-year tenure at the Big East school.

    Entering Tuesday’s nationally-televised “Turnpike Tussle” with arch-rival Seton Hall, the Scarlet Knights had lost six games in a row dating to a Jan. 17 win over USF.

    A year after going losing eight of his final 10 games, Rice was suspended for three games earlier this season and fined $50,000 for reportedly throwing basketballs at his players’ heads during his tenure.

    But after Rutgers held on through a tenuous final few moments for a 57-55 victory at the Rutgers Athletic Center, Tim Pernetti, the Rutgers athletic director and the man who will decide Rice’s fate, gave him a vote of confidence in an exclusive interview with SNY.tv.


    ***UPDATE (10:20 AM Wednesday): No fracture and no break for Nerlens Noel after an X-Ray, per Andy Katz. Still awaiting an MRI slated for later today.***

    Kentucky coach John Calipari is hoping Nerlens Noel’s injury is not the worst possible outcome.

    “I’m physically sick right now for him,” Calipari said, according to Kyle Tucker of the Louisville Courier-Journal. “What I’m hoping for is it’s not the extreme. I’m hoping it’s just a twist.”

    Two days after saying he couldn’t guarantee that Iman Shumpert wouldn’t be traded before the Feb. 21 NBA trade deadline, Knicks coach Mike Woodson emphatically stated that the second-year guard will remain a Knick.

    “You got it. I don’t need to say any more,” he told Stephen A. Smith on ESPN New York 98.7 FM radio on Tuesday according to ESPNNewYork.com.

    Shumpert has been mentioned in a possible multi-player deal to the Phoenix Suns involving Jared Dudley.

    Woodson continued to say he likes Shumpert’s game and has faith in him as he comes back from ACL surgery.

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