December 2013 | Page 13 of 22 | Zagsblog
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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 / August 6.

    MalachiAs expected, Trenton (N.J.) Catholic guard Malachi Richardson committed to Syracuse on Friday, giving the Orange their second pledge in the Class of 2015.

    Ranked No. 22 in the Class of 2015 by Rivals, the 6-foot-5 Richardson chose Syracuse over Villanova, Rutgers, Arizona, Indiana and UConn.

    His most recent visit was to Syracuse last week for the Indiana game.

    “It would be amazing to go play for Coach [Jim] Boeheim at Syracuse,” Richardson told prior to his recent visit. “He’s a great coach. He’s an awesome guy, playing up at Syracuse is something that I’ve always wanted to do. They really have a good team with a great group of guys.”

    Jim Boeheim has followed this St. John’s team and believes they have what it takes to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.

    “I absolutely think they’re going to be a tournament team,” the Syracuse coach told in advance of Sunday’s game between No. 2 Syracuse and St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. “They’ve got good inside presence. They’ve got really good guard play. They don’t really have a weakness.

    “They got a good team and it wouldn’t surprise me if they weren’t a good tournament team at the end of the year.”

    The unbeaten Orange (9-0) and the Red Storm (6-2) no longer share the Big East Conference, but that hasn’t stopped Boeheim from watching their core group progress.

    Arizona is loaded with future pros on the front line in Aaron Gordon, Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski, but they won’t be there forever.

    With that in mind, the No. 1-ranked Wildcats are looking ahead and hosted 2015 center Stephen Zimmerman of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman on Thursday.

    “It went very well,” Zimmerman told of his visit to Arizona Thursday. “Beautiful campus, coaches are very high on winning, training and preparing players for the next level.

    In a battle of future Duke teammates, Jahlil Okafor emerged with bragging rights.

    The 6-foot-10 Okafor went for 22 points and 15 rebounds as Chicago Whitney Young beat Tyus Jones and Apple Valley (MN), 80-70, on ESPN2. The game was played at Apple Valley.

    Jones scored 25 of his 29 points in the second half and added 5 assists and 4 steals in the loss. He went 8-of-9 from the line.

    **This story was referenced on ESPN’s PTI, where Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser discuss it at the 9-minute mark. Click here.**


    The way Jim Boeheim sees it, none of the heralded freshmen across the American college basketball landscape are worth tanking for.

    “There’s no player that’s out there on the horizon that’s a Tim Duncan or a LeBron James,” the Hall of Fame Syracuse coach told by phone Thursday.

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK – If Kentucky freshmen Julius Randle, James Young and Andrew Harrison all declare for the NBA Draft this spring, it stands to reason all could be taken in or near the lottery and immediately step in and help a team.

    When high-end freshmen leave for the NBA, that’s usually the outcome, but one former Wildcats standout freshman can tell a different story.

    “It’s a difficult process, especially if you’re a late pick and going to a team that might already be good and you don’t get a chance to play right away,”  Marquis Teague told on Wednesday evening before his Chicago Bulls lost to the Knicks, 83-78, at Madison Square Garden. “You’ve been playing your whole life and then you have to get used to not playing as much or at all. That”s tough to deal with if you’ve been ‘that guy’ your whole life. It’s a huge adjustment.”

    Former Georgetown forward Greg Whittington is planning to transfer and will visit Rutgers this weekend, according to

    The Scarlet Knights host UNC-Greensboro on Saturday afternoon.

    “I’m definitely looking to continue my career at another school,” Whittington told

    The 6-foot-8 Whittington told the site he’s also heard from Memphis, South Carolina and Nebraska.