December 2013 | Page 2 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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Sunday / September 20.
  • 2013 Elite 24


    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Isaiah Whitehead and Desi Rodriguez are out to prove something.

    The Seton Hall-bound tandem have put on a show this year for Abraham Lincoln (N.Y.), leading them to an 8-2 record with wins over Neumann-Goretti (PA) and Westlake (GA). Their two losses have come to nationally-ranked Montverde (FL) and Northside Christian (N.C.).

    “I think our players play with a chip on their shoulder, because many people say that basketball in New York City is dead,” Whitehead told “So, by us being top in the country, it shows that it is still alive.”

    MILES-BRIDGES-131118While home in Flint, MI for winter break, Miles Bridges took an unofficial visit to Michigan State on Saturday.

    The 6-foot-6 2016 Huntington (W.V.) Prep forward watched as the No. 5 Spartans crushed New Orleans, 101-48.

    “It was good,” Bridges told “I got to watch the game, go into the locker room, talk to some of the players and the coaches. It went pretty good.”

    Syracuse freshman point guard Tyler Ennis was never included in the “Big 3,” Big 4″ or “Big 5” discussions of the top freshmen in America.

    But with the calendar about to flip to 2014, Jabari Parker’s Duke team isn’t undefeated.

    Neither is Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Kansas.

    Nor are Julius Randle and the cast of freshmen stars at Kentucky.

    Top-ranked Arizona, which features freshman Aaron Gordon, remains unbeaten, but Gordon doesn’t play nearly the role on his team that Ennis does for Syracuse.

    Playing in arguably the biggest game of his young life — against his brother’s team, in front of a crowd of of more than 28,000 that included his parents, Tony McIntyre and Suzette Ennis, and on national television — Ennis came up huge, displaying a dazzling array of hesitation moves, changes of speed and all-around composure en route to 20 points as No. 2 Syracuse came back from an 18-point first-half deficit to beat No. 8 Villanova, 78-62, at the Carrier Dome.

    I spoke with one veteran NBA scout who attended the Louisville-Kentucky game and here are his thoughts on a few key items and players.

    On Julius Randle, who was forced to leave the game with cramps in the second half but looked dominant beforehand, going for 17 points: “He can score. He’s a beast inside. He’s hard to guard in college. He’s going to be guarded by the same size and more athletic guys in the NBA, but in college he’s unstoppable down there on the block. He’s gotta develop a mid-range game. He’s just not going to be able to bully his way to the rim at the NBA level every possession. Just keep driving left and driving left, spinning back left, they’re going to figure it out pretty quickly. He’s gotta develop a mid-range game, but as far as college he’s just a beast down there. You can’t guard him one-on-one in college.”

    Jordan TuckerBy ZACH SMART

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    When 6-foot-7 freshman Jordan Tucker first stepped foot on the sprawling campus of White Plains High, there was hype, hearsay and heavy buzz surrounding his every move.

    Tucker was tasked with helping recharge the pulse of the Tigers, which teetered on the fringe of mediocrity last season.

    White Plains struggled mightily during the 2012-2013 season, a forgettable one rife with growing pains. 



    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. –D’Angelo Russell is back in full force after he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus two months ago.

    He scored 17 points in a 98-39 win over South Atlanta (Ga.) in the Wild Wing Hoops Classic on Friday afternoon.

    “It feels good,” Russell told after the win. “It feels great to be able to play with my team again.”