February 2013 | Page 14 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.
  • It’s Rivalry Week on ESPN.

    You know what that means.

    Plenty of high-profile basketball programs engaged in high-stakes contests in front of jacked up, body- painted student sections.

    Kentucky-Florida and Michigan-Michigan State will both air on ESPN Tuesday night.

    The Worldwide Leader will feature Syracuse-UConn and North Carolina-Duke on Wednesday.

    And then there’s the game that will take place Tuesday at the Rutgers Athletic Center and will be shown on ESPN2.


    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Dwayne Bacon is one of the top point guards in the Class of 2015 and is already piling up the offers.

    A 6-foot-7 guard from Lakeland (Fla.) McKeel Academy, Bacon holds offers from Florida State, Virginia Tech, Baylor, South Florida, Central Florida, Georgia Southern and Old Dominion.

    Schools like Michigan, Florida, Clemson, Virginia and Tennessee are also showing interest.

    Once the Catholic 7 depart the Big East — which could well be in 2014 — the Big East will have only three current members remaining.

    UConn, Cincinnati and South Florida would be the lone holdovers from the current conference.

    Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco is on record saying he wants the league to be able to keep the name, but the Catholic 7 would also like to take the name with it when they go.

    At least one legal expert believes the Big East will be able to retain the name despite having only three current members left.


    — If the Knicks are going to make the sort of postseason run they hope to make beginning in April, they must improve their perimeter defense.

    Chris Paul became the latest quick point guard to victimize the Knicks when he went for 25 points and seven assists in the Clippers’ 102-88 victory over the Knicks Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

    Paul joins a long list of speedy and talented point guards who have caused major problems for the Knicks recently, including John Wall of the Wizards, Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers, Ty Lawson of the Nuggets, Kirk Hinrich of the Bulls, Jrue Holiday of the Sixers and Jeff Teague of the Hawks.

    “We gotta get better at it,” Knicks center Tyson Chandler said. “I don’t want to point the finger at anyone, especially at the perimeter guys. I don’t want to point the finger at…my perimeter guys. We have to do a better job collectively packing the paint. We gotta do a better job on the screens that’s open and of course, we gotta do a better job with the guards, keeping them out of the paint.”

    Trey Lyles,
     the Rivals No. 5 player in the Class of 2014 out of Indianapolis (Ind.) Arsenal Tech, has cut his list to half a dozen schools.

    The 6-foot-11 Lyles wrote on Instagram that his “final 6” were Florida, Butler, Kentucky, UCLA , Louisville and Duke.

    A onetime Indiana pledge, Lyles visited Kentucky Saturday and Butler and Louisville earlier in the week.

    His father, Tom Lyles, told SNY.tv they planned to visit Duke, Florida and UCLA in March over spring break.

    “We’re going to try and get to UCLA, Florida, Duke and North Carolina, try to get those places during the spring in March,” he said earlier this week before Carolina was apparently cut. “We want him to get the atmosphere and get to some games.”

    Kentucky continues to monitor some of the top Canadian recruits playing the Bluegrass State.

    Rodrick Rhodes, the head coach at Cordia (Ky.) High School and a former NBA player, told SNY.tv that Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua had reached out about 2013 point guard Emmanuel Owootoah, who recently received a qualifying ACT score.

    “He said he was coming to see him,” Rhodes said of Antigua.

    Rhodes, who played for Hall of Famer Bob Hurley at St. Anthony, previously told SNY.tv of Owootoah:

    Isaiah Whitehead, one of the top shooting guards in the Class of 2014 out of Brooklyn Lincoln High School, will be contributing periodically to ZAGSBLOG during his junior season. Whitehead is the latest Lincoln star to follow in the footsteps of Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair and Lance Stephenson. Here’s his latest entry:

    So our regular season is over. We finished 15-1 in the PSAL AA-Brooklyn. We lost our first game to Jefferson this week. It was a tough loss because I played with some of those guys this summer with the Juice All-Stars.

    We really wanted to finish undefeated in the league but that one loss brought us to the reality that we need to continue to work hard and continue to improve.

    } });