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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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Monday / February 6.
  • Cincy-MemphisIn its first year of existence, the American Athletic Conference is certainly providing some excitement.

    The Player of the Year race is an exciting three-man contest between UConn’s Shabazz Napier, Louisville’s Russ Smith and Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick, who went off for 34 points Thursday when the No. 15 Bearcats beat No. 20 Memphis, 97-84, on Senior Night at Cincinnati.

    Cincinnati and Louisville are now tied atop the league at 14-3 with one game to play, and it could come down to a coin flip for the No. 1 seed in next week’s postseason tournament in Memphis.

    Michigan sophomore and Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas has impressed NBA scouts this season, and he is widely regarded as a first-round pick who may go just beyond the lottery should he opt to come out.

    Chad Ford has Stauskas at No. 15 to the Boston Celtics  on his Big Board, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com has Stauskas at No. 20 to the Toronto Raptors.

    Along with fellow Canadians Andrew Wiggins of Kansas and Tyler Ennis of Syracuse, Canada could have three of the top 15 or 20 picks come June.

    A strong candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year honors, Stauskas is averaging 17.3 points, 3.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds for the Big Ten regular-season champion Wolverines. He’s shooting 49 percent from the field and 46 percent from beyond the arc.

    “Stauskas is one of the top five shooters in college basketball,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “A player who can score in a variety of ways whether it be catch-and-shoot, coming off a screen, mid-range game as well as a game off of the dribble. He has demonstrated the ability to handle the ball and make plays either for himself or his teammates.

    Eric PaschallNEW HAVEN, Conn.Eric Paschall came up short in his ultimate goal of winning the National Prep Championship on Wednesday, but the Fordham-bound guard served notice that he could be a force in the A-10 over the next several years.

    The 6-foot-6 guard went off for 25 points and 6 rebounds in the semifinals when St. Thomas More beat Syracuse-bound Chris McCullough and IMG Academy, 93-86.

    Jackson DavisThe latest on the Jackson Davis recruitment is this.

    Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and associate head coach Kevin Keatts are expected to watch him Friday night when Lafayette plays Henry Clay in the first round of the Kentucky 11th Region tournament, his father told SNY.tv.

    “They moved practice up an hour so Rick can get there in time,” Johnathon Davis said by phone.

    Jared TerrellNEW HAVEN, Conn. — Jared Terrell wasn’t feeling it a year ago when Brewster (N.H.) Academy lost in the National Prep Championship game to Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.).

    “We was here last year and came down the same road and got to the finals and didn’t cap it off,” the 6-foot-3 Oklahoma State commit told SNY.tv after dropping 20 points in an 84-61 victory over NMH in the semifinals on Wednesday at Albertus Magnus College. “But I think we have a good enough team to finish it off this year.”

    Matt FarrellBy JOHN PAVIA

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. — After capturing a championship at the Shore Conference Tournament last Saturday and an opening-round win over Asbury Park in the Central Jersey, Group 1 tournament on Tuesday, Matt Farrell led his Point Beach team to a second-round 82-50 win over Middlesex to continue their stellar season for at least one more game.

    “We share [the ball] together,” Farrel told SNY.tv. “When we move the ball we’re very good. We made shots and we shoot the ball very well. I missed a couple easy ones tonight and when they’re not falling for me, I try and get other people involved. When we share the ball though, we can be very good.”