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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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Wednesday / November 30.
  • Gregory Echenique and Durand Scott, two players who played high school basketball in the New York area and went undrafted Thursday, have found summer league teams.

    The 6-foot-9, 260-pound Echenique will play for the Toronto Raptors in the Las Vegas summer league and the 6-5 Scott is headed to the San Antonio Spurs.

    “I think it’s good to have another chance to show people what I can do and bring to the table,” Echenique, the former St. Benedict’s Prep, Rutgers and Creighton standout, told SNY.tv Friday.

    By ADAM ZAGORIA & JOSH NEWMAN

    N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie and Missouri’s Phil Pressey went undrafted Thursday night but both have reached agreement to play summer league ball.

    The 6-foot-9 Leslie was projected as a second-round pick but went undrafted after suffering a hip injury. He will play with the Knicks summer league team.

    The news was first reported by Yahoo! Sports and confirmed to SNY.tv by a source.

    Leslie worked out for the Nets June 17 but told SNY.tv then he had a hip issue.

    http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=28431449

    NEW YORK — A huge roar let loose in the Barclays Center after NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that the Knicks had taken Michigan shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. with the No. 24 overall pick.

    The Knicks opted to pick a wing player instead of a point guard or a big man to help offset the possible loss of J.R. Smith to free agency.

    The Knicks reportedly also considered Allen Crabbe of Cal, Ricky Ledo of Providence and Reggie Bullock of North Carolina on the wing.

    “I think it would be a great fit for me,” Hardaway Jr., who averaged 14.5 points and shot 37 percent from the arc for the NCAA runner-up Wolverines, said earlier this month after working out for the Knicks.

    “I watch the Knicks all the time. It’s great just to see them get up and down the court, a lot of guys are free out there, a lot of shooters as well. That fits right into my game and what I can bring to the table.”

    By JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    RECRUITS_NERLENS-NOEL670_150NEW YORK – For a year, Nerlens Noel was presumed to be the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

    Yet when the moment of truth arrived, the Kentucky freshman center sat in the Green Room and slipped all the way to No. 6 and the New Orleans Pelicans.

    That would have meant he would team up with another former Wildcats freshman sensation, Anthony Davis, last year’s No. 1 pick.

    Noel and Davis were teammates on Thursday evening for all of five minutes, and Noel even answered questions about playing alongside Davis before he was informed of the trade.

    NEW YORK — Anthony Bennett went No. 1 and Canada could go back-to-back.

    Bennett, the 6-foot-7 UNLV forward, was the surprise No. 1 pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Draft Thursday at Barclays Center.

    The Cavs bypassed Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, who was ultimately chosen at No. 6 by the New Orleans Pelicans and then dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers.

    Bennett told SNY.tv a month ago that he was shooting to be the No. 1 overall pick, and now it’s happened.

    “I’m just as surprised as everybody else,” said Bennett, a native of Brampton, Ontario who became the first UNLV player taken No. 1 overall since Larry Johnson in 1991. “I didn’t really have any idea who’s going No. 1 or who was going No. 2. I heard everything was up for grabs. But I’m just real happy, glad that I have this opportunity.”

    With Andrew Wiggins of Kansas projected as the No. 1 pick next year, Canada could go back-to-back in 2013 and 2014. Wiggins is the presumed No. 1 pick in what will be a loaded 2014 Draft.

    One day after leaving the Nike Skills Academy in New Jersey, Brandone Francis committed to Florida.

    “Yes, I picked them because that’s my dream school and I think it’s a perfect fit for me,” the 6-foot-5, 205-pound combo guard told SNY.tv Thursday after ESPN first reported the news. “I think i have a great chance to go up there and be a pro. I think they can make me a pro.

    “That’s a great fit for me as a guard. They use a lot of pick and roll with their system and with Coach [Billy] Donovan’s help they can take me to the next level.”

    The native of the Dominican Republic said he never cut his list to a top five, and simply went with Florida after consulting with his mom.

    UNION, N.J. — JaKarr Sampson is ready to win.

    After St. John’s went 17-16 during an uneven year last season, Sampson opted to return for his sophomore year after flirting with the NBA Draft.

    The Johnnies were picked No. 2 in the SNY Big East Preseason rankings, and Sampson feels his talented team can live up to the hype.

    “We can be a lot better,” Sampson, the reigning Big East Rookie of the Year after averaging 14.9 points and 6.6 rebounds, told SNY.tv Wednesday at the Nike Skills Academy at Kean University.