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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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Monday / August 15.
  • Former Syracuse Players in Favor of ACC Tourney at MSG

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    By DAVE SPAHN

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    CHICAGO — Count two former Syracuse players among those who would love to see the ACC Tournament come to Madison Square Garden.

    “It would be great having the conference tournament there,” former Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams said at the Chicago Pre-Draft Combine. “The Garden is a great place to play. It would help us [Syracuse] a lot. There would be a lot of Orange there.”

    As covered in this earlier story, the ACC is investigating moving the tournament to New York at some point after 2015, when their current deal in Greensboro, N.C., expires.

    Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and several incoming recruits are — no surprise — in favor of the idea.

    Players want to compete on the brightest stage, and no brighter spotlight exists anywhere in the country than MSG.

    “I feel like if the ACC moved to Madison Square Garden, it would be great for everybody,” said former Syracuse forward James Southerland of Queens. “I know a lot of people from down South would love to come to Madison Square Garden and see it in person. It’s a great venue and makes sense for the ACC to use. “

    As for Southerland’s performance here, he reportedly made 14-of-25 3-pointers from a variety of places on the floor on Thursday.

    The former Cardozo and Notre Dame Prep star averaged 13.3 points last season and set a new Big East Tournament record for 3-pointers in the event.

    “If you’re going to have a special skill, this is the one to have,” ESPN analyst and former NBA general manager Tom Penn said during ESPNU’s broadcast of the combine, according to Syracuse.com. “Every team needs floor-spacers. They need guys on the weak side. James Southerland is the kind of player who can stand out there and bang in threes.”

    Southerland does not even appear on the DraftExpress.com 2013 Mock Draft, but he could be a fit for a team needing a shooter.

    “He could be a great fit on the right team,” ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford said. “Not necessarily a starter or a star, but off the bench. I think he’s a really nice pick in the late first round or early second round.”

    As for the 6-5 Carter-Williams, he is projected as the No. 12 pick by Draft Express, but opted not to participate in the combine, only to do interviews.

    Photo: Dennis Nett | [email protected]

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.