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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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Thursday / February 29.
  • Brian Bernardi is the latest player to leave SMU.

    The 6-foot-2 sophomore shooting guard from New York Xaverian obtained his release and will become the fourth SMU player this offseason to transfer. He averaged 3.5 points in 31 games last season and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

    “After careful consideration, Brian has asked for and been granted his release from SMU,” New Heights coach Chris Alesi told SNY.tv.

    “With the additions of Crandall Head and Keith Frazier, playing time moving forward was the main issue, but Dallas, TX is a long way from Staten Island, N.Y. This will allow Brian to be closer to home.

    Mikal Bridges, the Rivals No. 99 prospect in the Class of 2014, is headed to Villanova.

    Bridges is a 6-foot-6 small forward from Malvern (Pa.) Great Valley.

    “As soon as I met Jay Wright and as soon as I met the coaches I knew I was going to like it,” Bridges told CoBL by phone Tuesday evening. “I knew I was definitely going to come here. It’s a great school.”

    Florida and Virginia Tech also offered, and Temple, La Salle and St. Joseph’s were in the mix, CoBL reported.

    “I think it’s a great fit for him both socially and athletically,” Team Final coach Rob Brown told SNY.tv.

    Former WNBA Commissioner Val Ackerman will be the new Commissioner of the Big East Conference, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

    Ackerman, 53, was the head of the WNBA from 1995-2006. She also served as an NBA staff attorney and was the first female president of USA Basketball from 2005 to 2008.

    “She brings all of that experience with intelligence, a keen analytical ability, an intense work ethic and a winning management style,” NBA Commissioner David Stern told Bloomberg via e-mail.


    Nearly three months after being fired by Rutgers after videotapes showed him being verbally and physically abusive toward players, and fresh off a a five-week stay at the John Lucas Wellness and Aftercare Program in Houston, Mike Rice is back on the practice floor in New Jersey.

    The former Rutgers head coach was in attendance Tuesday at the Nike Skills Academy camp at Kean University, and while Yahoo! first reported that he was working in drills and practice situations, Rice told SNY.tv that was not the case.

    “Just watching,” Rice told SNY.tv by text. “I did no work outs.”

    The Knicks made a qualifying offer to Chris Copeland Tuesday but he has interest from a number of teams, his agent told SNY.tv Tuesday.

    Agent John Spencer confirmed that the Knicks offered $988,872 to Copeland, who is a restricted free agent and can begin negotiating with other teams on July 1.

    The Knicks can match any offer up to $3.1 million — the mid-level exception.

    “Chris’s preference is to be in place where he can play and really go out and make a contribution,” Spencer told SNY.tv.

    Prized Florida recruit Chris Walker hasn’t qualified to play college ball and his situation remains in limbo, according to reports.

    The 6-foot-10 Walker will not enroll in summer classes this week, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

    Star point guard Kasey Hill of Montverde (FL) Academy, by contrast, is enrolled in summer school and began his orientation this week, the Sentinel said.

    “Everything has to go through the NCAA Clearinghouse,” Florida assistant Matt McCall said during a conference call among SEC men’s basketball coaches. “We should have more information later this summer, but right now he’s continuing to work. The one thing I will say about Chris is he’s committed to the process and he has really done an unbelievable job.

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