April 2014 | Page 12 of 28 | 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 25.


    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Alterique Gilbert is ready to be in the discussion as a top guard in the class of 2016.

    Gilbert, the starting point guard at Miller Grove (Ga.), saw his stock rise ten-fold at the Phenom Hoop Challenge in Greensboro (N.C.) this past weekend, which included a 32 point performance, as well as the game-winner that advanced Team CP3 to the silver bracket championship game.

    “It was a good tournament for me to start off,” Gilbert told SNY.tv. “It was really the first time I got to be on the court with my teammates.”



    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    New Virginia Tech Coach Buzz Williams will keep two of his prized possessions in Ahmed Hill and Satchel Pierce.

    The former Marquette commits opted to follow Williams to the ACC after taking official visits on Saturday.

    The No-61 ranked player in the class of 2014 according to 247 Sports, Hill will join Justin Bibbs and Jalen Hudson to create a more-than-solid backcourt trio for the 2014-15 season in Blacksburg.

    Samson UsiloBy JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK – As Steve Masiello had, then lost the South Florida job and was placed on leave by Manhattan when it was discovered he did not have his college degree, everyone wanted answers.

    With the searching and waiting for answers carrying on in Riverdale through late March and early April, 2014 recruit Samson Usilo waited patiently.

    “I was just very quiet about the situation because I didn’t want to start thinking too much about what was going on,” the 6-foot-5 Nazareth Regional senior said after scoring 17 points as his white team defeated the black team, 102-99, in the Jordan Brand Classic regional game on Friday evening. “The only thing I decided to do was sit there, relax and see what happens.”


    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORKKassoum Yakwe, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward from Our Savior New American (NY), is one of the rising prospects in the 2016 class. Yakwe played in the 2014 Jordan Brand International Game and scored 13 points and grabbed two rebounds for Team White as they defeated Team Black 74-71.

    Yakwe played an efficient 19 minutes, shooting 4-for-5 from the field. He also displayed an improved handle and a nice outside touch, hitting 2-for-3 from beyond the arc.

    “I’m getting more confident,” Yakwe said when asked about his outside shot. “I’ve been working in the gym getting shots up. I’m getting better [at] it.”

    Parker-OkaforBy JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK – It isn’t news that Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones wanted to go to college together.

    What became news on Friday is the fact that Okafor chose Duke with the thinking that two of its best players wouldn’t be there.

    Freshman phenom and projected top-3 NBA Draft pick Jabari Parker declared for the draft on Thursday. Blue Devils sophomore forward Rodney Hood followed Parker officially followed Hood out the door on Friday.  When Okafor committed to Duke head coach Mike Kryzyzewski on Nov. 15 along with Jones, he did so never expecting to count either as a teammate.

    “Seeing Jabari and Rodney leave, I was really happy for them,” Okafor said after netting East MVP honors with 29 points and nine rebounds in a 158-147 win over the West at the Jordan Brand Classic. “In all honesty, when I decided to go to Duke, I wasn’t expecting Jabari to be there, or even Rodney, so it wasn’t really too surprising for me. I’m happy for those guys.”

    Turner Mickey'DNEW YORK — The perception may be that Myles Turner is leaning towards Texas, but Kansas is working hard to get the 6-foot-11 Texas big man to jump across state lines.

    Kansas head coach Bill Self will meet Sunday with Turner in Texas, David Turner confirmed to SNY.tv.

    That meeting will come some 48 hours after Joel Embiid, the potential No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, and the two Kansas pledges in the Jordan Brand Classic tried to get Turner to commit to Kansas while in New York.

    “He says he’s just weighing out his options right now,” Kansas-bound Cliff Alexander said after getting MVP honors for the West by putting up 23 points and 8 rebounds in a 158-147 loss to the East. “Me, Kelly [Oubre] and Joel have been talking to him. Joel talked to him earlier [Friday] at the hotel trying to get him to commit. Hopefully, he does that.”

    NEW YORK –– In the closing seconds of regulation of the Jordan Regional Game, Miami commit Ja’Quan Newton let loose a jumper from the right wing that might have won the game for the Away team.

    But Desi Rodriguez, a 6-foot-6 forward out of Abraham Lincoln High School, jumped up with his hand extended and blocked the shot, sending the game to overtime.

    In the extra period, the Seton Hall-bound Rodriguez had 5 of his team’s 7 points, including a vicious dunk, as the Home team won, 102-99, at Barclays Center.

    “I just wanted to contest the shot,” Rodriguez said after finishing with 17 points and 4 rebounds. “I know Ja’Quan is a great player. I knew he was going to take the last shot and I just had to get up and get the block.”