October 2014 | 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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Friday / July 19.
  • Montero

    Westchester Community College suspended its basketball program on Friday in the wake of the transcript scandal, leaving the recruitment of 6-foot-9 wing Luis Montero in flux.

    The Journal News, which has been all over this story, reported the suspension of the basketball program.

    St. John’s on Wednesday declared that former WCC forward Keith Thomas was academically ineligible, while Quinnipiac is looking into the transcript of former WCC guard Gio McLean.

    Now Montero is caught in the mix, too, although he seemed unaware of the program’s suspension on Friday.

    “We good, man,” he said by text.

    Tyus BattleKentucky head coach John Calipari watched 2016 combo guard Tyus Battle on Friday, while Kansas assistant Jerrance Howard saw 2015 point guard Malik Newman.

    Calipari was making his second visit to Gladstone (N.J.) Gill St. Bernard’s this fall to see Battle, head coach Mergin Sina confirmed to SNY.tv.

    Battle visited Kentucky earlier this month for Big Blue Madness and enjoyed it.

    “It went very well,” Gary Battle, the player’s father who did not make the trip with Tyus, told SNY.tv. “Tyus said Big Blue Madness was awesome and Cal and coach [John] Robic were very excited about him and how he may fit if he attends the school in a few years. Ty stated that he could see how Coach Cal gets some of the best talent year after year. It was a great event.”

    Battle is being recruited by virtually every major program in the country, and plans to cut his list by December. Kentucky, Duke, Syracuse, Louisville, UConn, Michigan, Ohio State and Florida are among those in the mix. 

    Ivan RabbIvan Rabb, the 6-foot-10 2015 big man from Oakland (CA) Bishop O’Dowd and the Oakland Soldiers, enjoyed his official visit to Kentucky and has tentative visits set to Kansas and Arizona.

    “I talked to him once while he was there and he was hanging out with Marcus Lee and he said he had a good time, his high school coach Lou Richie told SNY.tv. “His parents seemed to like it, and he seemed to like it.

    “We really have not debriefed about it. It’s just been such a hectic week with the Giants [winning the World Series] and Halloween and everything.”

    ECRhode Island sophomore guard E.C. Matthews was left off the Atlantic 10’s Preseason First Team even though he was named the league’s Co-Rookie of the Year last season.

    In the end, that may make the league’s coaches look a little silly.

    After all, the 6-foot-5 native of Detroit averaged 14.3 points and 4.3 rebounds last season, posted nine games with 20 or more points – most among all freshmen nationally — and is already on the radar of NBA personnel.

    “He’s got an opportunity if he keeps progressing to be an NBA player at some point,” Rhody coach Dan Hurley told SNY.tv.

    DraftExpress.com currently has Matthews going at No. 24 in the 2016 NBA Draft.

    Cal UKTo the surprise of no one, Kentucky was named the No. 1 team in the first Associated Press poll of the season.

    The Wildcats feature nine McDonald’s All-Americans and were also No. 1 in the Coaches’ Poll.

    “It’s something for our kids to live up to,” head coach John Calipari said, according to the AP. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to play the games and figure it out.”

    Kentucky earned 52 first-place votes from the 65-member panel in landing its fourth preseason No. 1. The Wildcats also were No. 1 in 1995-96, when they won the national championship, and in 1980-81.

    Kentucky joins UCLA (1966-60, 1971-74), UNLV (1990-91) and North Carolina (2008-09) to be named preseason No. 1 consecutive seasons since the AP poll started in 1961-62.

    SarrPierre Sarr, a 6-foot-7 wing forward from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic who is originally from Senegal, committed to Monmouth Thursday night.

    Josh Newman of the Asbury Park Press broke the news.

    “He’s become much more consistent in his play and I think his effort play in and play out has become much much better,” RC coach Dave Boff told the Asbury Park Press. “He’s become a better defensive player since he came to us and certainly a better rebounder.”

    Sarr also considered Hofstra, LIU, Canisius,St. Peter’s, and St. Bonaventure. He joins 6-10 Lake Forest (Ill.) Academy forward Diago Quinn in coach King Rice’s recruiting class.

    Here’s your Friday morning look-ahead to the weekend’s recruiting visits and other news. This list will be updated throughout the weekend:

    **Jaylen Brown, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2015, is visiting UCLA this weekend after previously attending Midnight Madness events at Kansas and Kentucky. Carlton Bragg, who also made those visits, will reschedule his trip to UCLA, his mentor told SNY.tv.

    “Coach [Steve] Alford is a great guy and coach [David] Grace, the assistant there, is a great guy too,” Brown recently told Scout.com. “UCLA is a beautiful university. They have a lot of pro guys that go work out there during the summer. It’s just show time basketball. I love the way they get up and down and things like that. I could see myself playing in that style being up and down. It’s just a great university.”

    } });