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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 / June 13.

    For St. John’s and head coach Steve Lavin, this was supposed to be a season that ended with an NCAA Tournament bid and perhaps a magical March run.

    Instead, it concluded with the No. 1-seeded Johnnies getting blasted by No. 8 Robert Morris, 89-78, in the first round of the NIT at Carnesecca Arena.

    The Johnnies played their final game of the season without point guard Rysheed Jordan, who missed the game with tonsilitis.

    St. John’s had no answer for Karvel Anderson, who poured in 38 points on 12-for-20 shooting, and former St. Anthony standout Lucky Jones, who went for 25 points and nine rebounds.

    Thon MakerThon Maker, the consensus No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2016, met with Australian National Team coach Andrej Lemanis last week about a potential future role with the team.

    The meeting took place March 9-11 in Virginia, where the 7-foot, 208-pound Maker attends the Carlisle (Va.) School.

    “We had a good meeting with Andrej Lemanis,” Ed Smith, Maker’s legal guardian, told

    “He worked Thon and [his brother] Matur out. He told me he was impressed with Thon’s skill level and wanted to get him into the National program as soon as possible. He felt that Thon could be a contributor in 2016 and an exciting part of the team at both of the forward spots in the future.”

    SchadracIona landed a commitment Monday from 5-foot-10 point guard Schadrac Casimir, a Connecticut native who did a postgraduate year at South Kent (Conn.)

    Casimir also considered N.C. Central, Sacred Heart, Fairfield and Cal State-Bakersfield.

    “They were recruiting me the longest and had faith in me when people had doubts I was a D-1 player and it fits my playing style,” he told

    One source with direct knowledge of his game said he could score 1,500 points in college and compared him to Louisville guard Russ Smith.

    “I think me and Russ both play with a chip on out shoulder because we are small and have something to prove,” Casimir said.

    “I respect what he did but I’m trying to create my own lane.”

    Ennis brothersTony McIntyre says his luck is running so strong right now that his friends joke he should buy a lottery ticket.

    McIntyre will have not one, but two sons playing in the NCAA Tournament.

    And as luck would have it, Tyler and Dylan Ennis will both compete in Buffalo this weekend — making for a nice, easy trip South of the Canadian border for the 50 or 60 friends and family expected at HSBC Arena.

    “I don’t think there’s too many times that you can actually have two sons playing college basketball, two sons that make it to March Madness and also play in the exact same gym,” McIntyre told “It’s pretty crazy.”

    john-calipariBy JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    The University of Kentucky is the No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region, which has been dubbed the ‘Region of Death’ thanks to the fact that Wichita St., Michigan, Duke and Louisville comprise the top four seeds.

    Wildcats head coach John Calipari has a game against No. 9 seed Kansas St. to prepare for, so he doesn’t have much time to harp on how his team got seeded where it did, but at some point, he would like some answers.

    “First of all, you’ve gotta figure out why in the world did this happen and how it’s happened,” Calipari said Monday morning on a conference call. “I’m not worried about it, but someone’s gotta find out, when you have a strength of schedule of 2 and that’s all they keep talking about, what did you use to make our team an 8?”

    Tarin Smith SNYTarin Smith is headed to Nebraska.

    The 6-foot-2, 170-pound senior point guard from St. Anthony and the Sports U AAU program committed Monday after picking up a scholarship offer from Nebraska head coach Tim Miles.

    “Since they offered me I knew it was one of the highest schools on my list,” Smith, who also considered Ole Miss and Duquesne, told  “I just had a gut feeling in my heart that that’s where I wanted to be.”

    Smith averaged 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists for the Friars, who reached the New Jersey Non-Public B championship game, losing to Roselle Catholic, 60-57, on Saturday.

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