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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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Tuesday / April 7.
  • By JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK – Admittedly, Tyshawn Taylor has not had a ton of time to watch his Alma mater, Kansas, or much other college basketball, but the former Jayhawks star is paying attention to the freshman sensations who have taken the game by storm this season.

    Taylor knows very well that there’s a good chance one of these freshmen, whether it be Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins, Kentucky’s Julius Randle or Duke’s Jabari Parker, could be the first name out of soon-to-be NBA Commissioner Adam Silver‘s mouth at the NBA Draft. If Taylor had the first pick, he knows who he would choose and it’s not the Kansas guy, Wiggins.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Irvvb7Y4-w&w=560&h=315]

    When 7-foot Kansas freshman big man Joel Embiid busted out the “Dream Shake” in Saturday’s win over New Mexico, it may have surprised some college basketball fans around the nation.

    But it didn’t surprise his teammates.

    “If you saw my facial expression on the court,” fellow freshman Wayne Selden said following the team’s 80-63 victory. “I see him do it in practice every day and I’m glad he brought it to the game.”

    “He has great moves,” sophomore Perry Ellis said. “The key was to get the ball to him because it opens everything up. He did a great job down there and we have to keep continuing to get him the ball.”

    While all the hype this season has focused on the “Big 4” freshmen group of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon, at what point do we start including Embiid and calling it a “Big 5”?

    Huntington (W.V.) Prep combo guard JaQuan Lyle will visit Kansas this weekend when they play Kansas State.

    “Heading to Lawrence this weekend for my official #kubball #RockChalk ” he Tweeted Sunday.

    Kansas already has a pledge from 6-9 Chicago Curie forward Cliff Alexander, and Alexander and Lyle have talked about packaging together.

    Lyle has also visited West Virginia, which is pursuing him.

    “There’s a need at West Virginia,” he recently told the Indy Star. “They need a big guard who can come in and make plays and I could see myself in that situation.”

    NEW YORK — The NCAA East Regional will take place March 28 and 30 at Madison Square Garden, and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim would love to coach his team in front of what would surely be a pro-Orange crowd for a shot at yet another Final Four.

    “I like playing in New York. We’ve said many times we’re going to play in New York. We have a lot of Syracuse fans down here that live in this area. I think we’re in a tournament here next year…We like coming here. We’ve played a lot of games in Madison Square Garden, it’s a great place for college basketball,” Boeheim said after his No. 2 Orange fended off St. John’s, 68-63, in front of a pro-Syracuse crowd in a non-conference battle on Sunday.

    It’s a little early to be thinking about who’s playing in what NCAA regions, but Syracuse remained undefeated at 10-0 with its win and it’s not outside the realm of possibility to imagine them playing in an East Regional at the Garden.

    NEW YORK — For the past several years on the summer AAU circuit, Andrew Wiggins benefitted from having Tyler Ennis as his point guard with the Canadian outfit CIA Bounce.

    While Ennis was never ranked as high as point guards like Andrew Harrison and Kasey Hill by the recruiting services, anyone who ever watched CIA Bounce play knew that Ennis was the engine that made them run, the poised and polished floor general who put Wiggins in the space to succeed.

    Led by Ennis, Wiggins and Xavier Rathan-Mayes, that team reached the finals of the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit — losing to a James Young-led USA Midwest team — and the finals of the 2012 Peach Jam — losing to an Aaron Gordon-led Oakland Soldiers outfit on a late phantom foul call on Wiggins.

    Former Georgetown forward Greg Whittington decided to transfer to Rutgers after visiting the campus this weekend.

    It remains unclear how much eligibility he has remaining. Sources said he has at least a year and a half, possibly two remaining at Rutgers. It’s unclear when he will suit up.

    “Coach [Eddie] Jordan welcomed me as a family and so did the whole staff,” Whittington told SNY.tv.

    “Their playing style is kind of like Georgetown, but it’s more open and he likes go get out and run. They will be in the Big Ten next year with a lot of competition. They players were cool. The campus was nice. And their fanbase was good.”