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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.
  • Luke Hancock only wanted to talk about basketball on Tuesday.

    And understandably so.

    It had been little more than 24 hours since his father, William Hancock, died in his bed of cancer in the family’s Roanoke (Va.) County home at about 7:30 a.m. Monday. Luke, a 6-foot-6 forward who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in April, was on his way to Colorado to attend USA Basketball’s tryouts for the World University Games when his father passed.

    William Hancock was 70 and his three-year battle with cancer was well-documented during Louisville’s run to the NCAA championship in Atlanta.

    While the U.S. U19 World Championship Team prepares to play this week in Prague, Czech Republic, Providence’s Bryce Cotton and 25 other top college players arrived at the U.S. Olympic Training Center for the start of the USA World University Games Team training camp.

    “So far, so good, today was the first day,” the 6-foot-1 Cotton told SNY.tv by phone Monday night. “It was good for everybody to get their feet wet and just get integrated to all these different players.”

    A rising senior who was an All-Big East selection last year and was named to the SNY All-Big East Preseason Team, Cotton led the Big East in scoring last season at 18.3 points per game. This training camp gives him a chance to match up against other elite college guards like New Mexico’s Kendall Williams, Notre Dame’s Eric Atkins and Nevada’s Deonte Burton.

    Isaiah Whitehead 2The Nike Point Guard Skills Academy and Big Man Skills Academy are running simultaneously at Harwood Arena on the campus of Kean University.

    The event opened Monday and will run through Wednesday with the 23 guards and 16 big men going through a total of five workouts over the three days.

    These events do not fall during an NCAA live period and therefore are not open to college coaches, but NBA personnel are allowed to be in the building.

    In addition to the high school players, 12 college guards and 14 college big men will have an opportunity to work out for the NBA scouts over the three days.

    The most up to date high school and college rosters for both events can be found after the jump.

    Chris Smith sees an opening as the Knicks backup point guard and believes he can fill the role.

    With Jason Kidd now the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and Pablo Prigioni’s status unclear, Smith wants to prove during summer league action that he’s ready for the job as Raymond Felton’s backup.

    “I hope to be the backup point guard,” Smith told SNY.tv Monday. “I really do see an opportunity.”

    Smith, the younger brother of Knicks’ free agent shooting guard J.R. Smith, will play on the Knicks’s Las Vegas summer league entry, as will guard Iman Shumpert.

    Knicks guard J.R. Smith will opt out of his player option with the Knicks on Tuesday, a source with direct knowledge confirmed to SNY.tv.

    “Yes, he is,” the source said.

    The timeframe was first reported by the Daily News.

    Smith, the newly-minted Sixth Man of the Year, is owed $2.9 million on his current deal, but it had long been assumed that he would opt out to test free agency.

    “J.R’s a special player,” Carmelo Anthony said last month, according to the Daily News. “To me and to everybody on this team he made a huge step forward as a basketball player and we look forward to that. For him to come out, win the Sixth Man of the Year award, helping us to win a division title, helping us to win 50-plus games, he was a big part to this team. I definitely would love him back here.”