December 2013 | Page 9 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 / July 9.
  • Jason Hasson knows what it’s like to coach under Bob Hurley at St. Anthony High School.

    Now he will get a chance to coach against the Naismith Hall of Famer.

    “When I was coaching with him when we would play other teams, I would always look down at the other coach and look at the other players on the court and think what an honor it was to coach against him and what an honor it was to play against his team and I’m just glad that he’s given my team and my coaching staff that opportunity,” Hasson told

    Hasson spent three years at St. Anthony and was on the staff when the Friars won the New Jersey Tournament of Champions and a mythical national championship in 2011.

    Now he and his Pope John team will face the Friars in the Hoop Group Tip-Off Showcase on Sunday at 6 p.m. at West Orange (N.J.) High School.

    Moustapha Diagne, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound center from Pope John XIII, will visit Syracuse Feb. 1 for the Duke game, coach Jason Hasson told

    “We haven’t decided if it’s going to be official or unofficial yet,” said Hasson, whose team plays St. Anthony Sunday in the Hoop Group Tip-Off Showcase at West Orange High School.

    Syracuse head man Jim Boeheim watched Diagne at Pope John in September, and the staff is due “back through in the next week or so,” Hasson said.

    Syracuse just landed a pledge from 2015 Trenton Catholic guard Malachi Richardson, and has a tradition of landing top players from New Jersey, including current freshmen Tyler Ennis and Tyler Roberson.

    NEW YORK — Who can Andrew Wiggins be in the NBA?’s Chad Ford has one thought.

    “The guy he really reminds of the more he’s played in college is Paul George,” Ford told of the Kansas freshman whom he has projected as No.1 in the 2014 NBA Draft.

    The Pacers selected the 6-foot-9 George 10th overall in the 2010 Draft out of Fresno State, and Ford sees similarities in their skillsets.


    For all the talk about Jabari Parker’s talent and Kyle Anderson‘s homecoming entering Thursday’s Duke-UCLA game at Madison Square Garden, nobody is flying up NBA Draft boards quite like UCLA freshman Zach LaVine.

    The Website currently has the 6-foot-5, 180-pound Seattle native at No. 5 on its 2014 Mock Draft — ahead of Julius Randle, Dante Exum and Gary Harris.

    Chad Ford of has LaVine at No. 10.

    “I’m a big fan,” Ford told of LaVine. “I think he’s cooled off a little bit with his jump shot from where he’s started the season but that’s to be expected because he was shooting 60 percent. [He’s currently shooting 59 percent from 2 and 47 percent from 3.]

    No one has ever doubted Aaric Murray’s talent.

    But his off-the-court issues contributed to his journeyman-like college career in which he moved from La Salle to West Virginia and finally to Texas Southern, frustrating and annoying a series of coaches along the way.

    But on Tuesday night, it all came together for the 6-foot-10 Philadelphia native as he poured in 48 points in Texas Southern’s 90-89 win at Temple.

    Murray set the single-game high scoring mark for Division I basketball this season. Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky scored 43 on Nov. 19.

    JUSTIN SIMON_150_072513


    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Justin Simon has turned some serious heads this year with a sizzling start to his junior year.

    Simon, a 6-foot-4, 190 pound combo guard out of Temacula Valley (Ca.), started off the season with a triple-double, and has continued that trend, recently adding offers from Arizona and Colorado.

    “No favorites at this time,” Simon told “I’m just enjoying my junior year and my team. I plan to trim my list in the spring after a few more visits.”

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    NEW YORK — Kyle Anderson came into UCLA as a highly touted point guard who might join his teammate Shabazz Muhammad in the one-and-done department.

    But something happened on the way to that seemingly inevitable plan.

    The 6-foot-9 Anderson spent his freshman season under former coach Ben Howland relegated to the wing and the power forward position while Larry Drew II ran the point.

    While Howland was fired for failing to live up to UCLA’s lofty expectations despite an NCAA Tournament appearance, and Muhammad departed for the NBA, Anderson returned for his sophomore season under new coach Steve Alford.