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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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Saturday / December 4.
  • Embiid2In order to quash any doubts about his ailing back and reassert himself as the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, Joel Embiid needed to impress NBA scouts and executives on hand at a group workout Friday in Los Angeles.

    And that’s exactly what the 7-footer from Cameroon did.

    “I did not see any issues with his back,” one veteran NBA scout on hand at the workout told SNY.tv. “He looked very agile and athletic.”

    “He looks great,” a second scout said. “Running, jumping, dunking, bent up like a pretzel in warmups and stretching exercises. Had two ex-NBA bigs [Brian Scalabrine and Will Perdue] banging on him underneath. He passed the eyeball test big time. Move him up.

    “He helped himself today.”

    T2013 Jordan Brand Classiche other day a recruiting analyst took to Twitter to write, “Someone needs to get ’16 wing Jamal Murray into an American HS. CIA Bounce star is one of best Canada has right now.”

    “I didn’t see anything because I don’t have Twitter. I don’t pay attention to any of that,” Murray, a 6-foot-5 guard from Kitchener, Ontario who is considered one of the top prospects in the Class of 2016, told SNY.tv by phone.

    There is little doubt that Murray could have had his choice of elite American basketball programs had he opted to go that route. He recently picked up scholarship offers from Michigan State and Illinois, and has interest from Syracuse, Michigan, Florida State and Virginia Tech, among others.

    “He had a lot of options [for high school],” Tony McIntyre, who coaches Murray on the CIA Bounce AAU team, told SNY.tv.

    Kevin Ollie, who led the UConn Huskies to their fourth NCAA championship in just his second year at the helm, agreed to a five-year contract extension worth $15 million, the school announced Thursday.

    The news had been previously reported by Yahoo! Sports.com.

    The deal should put to rest rumors of Ollie returning to the NBA as a coach. He had been linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Ollie will receive a base salary of $400,000 on an annual basis. He will also receive annual payment for public relations, consulting and media appearances. In the 2014-15 academic year, this figure will be $2,400,000 for total compensation of $2,800,000. The public relations, consulting and media appearance payments will increase by $100,000 during each year of the contract. These combined figures will then total $2,900,000 for 2015-16, $3,000,000 for 2016-17, $3,100,000 for 2017-18 and $3,200,000 in 2018-19.

    Ollie will thus become the highest-paid coach in the American Athletic Conference, replacing SMU’s Larry Brown, who reportedly made $2.8 million.

    Charles Mitchell became the latest Maryland player to announce his transfer, becoming the fifth Terp to leave the program since the season ended.

    The 6-foot-8 Mitchell averaged 6.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in 70 career games (17 starts) over two seasons at Maryland.

    Maryland has already lost Shaq Cleare (Texas), Roddy Peters (South Florida), Seth Allen (Virginia Tech) and Nick Faust (undecided).

    “Recently, Charles shared with us that his grandmother had become ill,” Terps coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. “I feel terrible for Charles and his family. Although we will miss Charles, we understand and support his decision to move closer to his home so he can help support and be there for his family. I appreciate Charles’ commitment to our program and he will always be a part of our family.”