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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.
  • tyus-battle-zagSeven schools are working the hardest for 2016 guard Tyus Battle, his father told SNY.tv.

    Gary Battle listed Ohio State, UConn, Virginia, Villanova, Michigan, Syracuse and Indiana as those “working the hardest.”

    Several of those schools are due in today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) to see the 6-5 Battle work out at Gill St. Bernard.s

    Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins was in Thursday, with UConn’s Kevin Ollie, Virginia’s Jason Williford, Michigan’s Jeff Meyer, Villanova’s Ashley Howard and Seton Hall’s Shaheen Holloway expected Friday.

    KTBy ZACH SMART

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Keith Thomas’s consistency, collection of double-doubles, and furious-paced work ethic is what makes the 6-foot-8 Westchester Community College forward appealing to high-major Division-I programs.

    Thomas played just one year of high school basketball at Yorktown (N.Y.), spearheading the Huskers to the Section 1 Final Four. A rediscovery of how much he loves the game allowed Thomas to make a second run.

    Now the Mount Vernon native is one of the nation’s most hotly pursued forwards.

    “He was so consistent this year, but what I really like about Keith is he takes no prisoners on the court,” said Vikes head coach Tyrone Mushatt, who played at WCC himself in the mid-1990s.

    RandleBy JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Kentucky freshman big man Julius Randle took to Twitter Wednesday evening to deny a report that he had already decided to enter the NBA Draft.

    The tweet said, “Idk who reported what but I haven’t made up my mind about the draft yet. Haven’t even talked to my family about it. So it’s all false.

    Randle’s tweet contradicts an earlier report from ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, who cited multiple sources in saying that Randle had already chosen to leave Lexington after one season. UK spokesman John Hayden could not confirm Goodman’s report to SNY.tv.

    “No, he just sent a tweet to clear this up,” Randle’s mother, Carolyn Kyles, told SNY.tv via text message. “We are planning on talking about it this weekend.”

    GrahamDevonte’ Graham, a 6-foot-2 2014 point guard from Brewster (N.H.) Academy, has obtained his release from new Appalachian State coach Jim Fox, Brewster coach Jason Smith confirmed to SNY.tv.

    “We’re excited to hear that he will be released and we’re excited to be able to communicate with schools,” Smith told SNY.tv.

    “wow officially released !!!! Thanking god right now,” Graham Tweeted.

    Tim Miles of Nebraska, Mark Gottfried of N.C. State and Ed Cooley of Providence are due in to watch Graham Thursday and coaches from Virginia, Kansas, Florida, Cincinnati and Virginia Tech were expected Friday. Greg McDermott of Creighton was in last week.

    “Traffic could grow,” Smith said.

    Graham committed to Appalachian State in September 2012 out of Raleigh (N.C.) Broughton High School.

    embiid2As expected and as reported here Tuesday, Joel Embiid declared for the NBA Draft during a press conference at Kansas on Wednesday.

    “After thinking a lot, I decided to declare for the NBA,” the 7-footer said.

    DraftExpress.com has Embiid projected as the No. 2 pick behind fellow Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins, meaning Kansas could go 1-2 in the Draft just as Kentucky did in 2012 with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

    A native of Cameroon, Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks this season en route to Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors, but didn’t play after March 1 due to a back injury.

    Delarosa-WalkerBy BEN BASKIN & ADAM ZAGORIA

    NEW YORK — St. John’s picked up its first commitment in the Class of 2014 and it was a big one.

    Literally.

    Adonis Delarosa, a 6-foot-11, 256-pound center from Christ the King in Queens, verbally committed during a press conference Wednesday in the school’s library.

    Delarosa also considered Pittsburgh, South Carolina and Alabama, among others.

    Delarose, who averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds in helping lead CTK to a second straight New York Class AA Federation crown, said Pitt was a close second.

    Delarosa called it the “hardest decision of his life.”

    He said he’s been thinking about St. John’s for a while, but made the final decision Wednesday at noon.