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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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Friday / January 24.
  • MorganNEW YORK — UNLV not only kept their head coach.

    They kept their loaded recruiting class intact, too.

    By saying they will recommend a contract extension with head coach Dave Rice through the 2018-19 season instead of letting him flee to sunny South Florida, the Runnin’ Rebels also kept intact a three-man recruiting class of Dwayne Morgan, Goodluck Okonoboh and Rashad Vaughn

    “Had Dave Rice not announced he was coming back, for sure Dwayne Morgan and Rashad Vaughn were going to stick together regardless,” Morgan’s trainer and mentor, Dwayne Wise, told SNY.tv over the phone Saturday.

    “Dwayne would’ve had to get a release, which wouldn’t have been a problem. Dwayne and Rashad were definitely planning on sticking together.”

    Willie Cauley-SteinBy JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    When Kentucky squares off against Michigan in Sunday’s Midwest Regional final, the Wildcats may be looking for their 16th Final Four appearance without a big piece of the puzzle.

    Head coach John Calipari called sophomore 7-foot center Willie Cauley-Stein doubtful on Saturday for the game after the 7-foot sophomore center suffered a left ankle injury in the first half of a 74-69 come-from-behind victory over Louisville in a regional semifinal on Friday night.

    Even if Cauley-Stein is done for the season, that is unlikely to affect his draft stock. He is currently slotted No. 12 in June’s NBA Draft by DraftExpress.

    “An ankle sprain, it’s nothing,” a former NBA executive told SNY.tv. “He will be a top-20 pick regardless of him playing another college game. He could be a Lottery pick if he stayed another year at Kentucky.”

    PayneNEW YORK –– The Big Ten hasn’t won an NCAA championship since Michigan State cut down the nets in 2000.

    Since then, the ACC has won five titles, the Big East four, the SEC three and the Big 12 one.

    “The Big Ten still hasn’t won a national championship in a while,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Saturday on the eve of a Sweet 16 matchup with UConn here at Madison Square Garden.

    Could this be the breakthrough year?

    Ant LeeTemple transfer Anthony Lee is headed to Ohio State and can play right away as a fifth-year senior.

    “He made the decision today,” Anthony Lee Sr. told SNY.tv by phone. “It’s a tremendous program for Anthony’s desires as a basketball player.”

    The news was previously reported by ESPN.com.

    The 6-foot-9 Lee averaged 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds this past season at Temple.

    Briscoe DunkAs this NCAA Tournament unfolds, Isaiah Briscoe is focusing on watching UConn and Arizona, two schools he is considering.

    “He’s following UConn and Arizona, who are two of his top schools left in the NCAA Tournament,” Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff told SNY.tv Saturday. “He’s excited to see how their guards are playing.”

    Arizona meets Wisconsin in the West regional final later Saturday, while UConn faces Michigan State Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

    Myles Turner took his fifth and final official visit to Texas this week and enjoyed it.

    “It was great,” David Turner, the player’s father, told SNY.tv. “Everything went really well. It was good.”

    The 6-foot-11 Turner out of Euless (TX) Trinity has now taken officials to Texas, Duke, Kansas, Ohio State and Oklahoma State, as well as unofficials to SMU and Texas A&M.

    Asked how Texas coach Rick Barnes and his staff envisioned using Turner, David said: “Pretty much not pigeonholing him and letting him play 3, 4, 5, whatever was needed. He’s a good shot-blocker and scorer on the wings and in the post, so they would use him whatever way they can.”

    DeAndre DanielsBy JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK – Early in the second half of an East Regional semifinal between Connecticut and Iowa St. on Friday evening. Huskies junior forward DeAndre Daniels hit a mid-range jump shot. Forty-one seconds later, he hit another and 60 seconds after that, he converted on a driving layup.

    At that point, it was clear what the Huskies’ offensive game plan was going to entail. Keep feeding the Los Angeles native and ride him to the Elite Eight.