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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.

    Manhattan opens the 2014-15 season Saturday afternoon at Florida State.

    It will be the first game for Manhattan coach Steve Masiello after an eventful offseason in which he:

    A) Took the South Florida job after playing Louisville close in the NCAA Tournament;

    B) Lost the USF job after it was revealed he had never graduated from Kentucky;

    C) Was placed on a leave of absence at Manhattan, and;

    D) Returned as the fulltime coach at Manhattan

    SNY’s Michelle Yu caught up with Masiello in the above video to talk about what went down.

    Derrick JonesAfter insisting all along that he would wait until the spring to commit, Derrick Jones saw enough this fall to make a decision.

    The high-flying 6-foot-7 wing from Radnor (PA) Archbishop Carroll committed to UNLV Thursday on ESPNU, choosing the Rebels over UConn and Auburn.

    “I’m going to take my talents to UNLV,” Jones said on ESPNU. “Just when I went up there on my visit, I just stepped on campus and I felt like it was a family there. I got to know all the basketball players there, and it just felt like a brotherhood there.”

    Syracuse, SMU, Kentucky and Kansas had also been involved for Jones at various times during his recruitment.

    Jones, who won the Dunk Contest at the Under Armour Elite 24 game in August, visited UNLV in October for the Scarlet & Gray Showcase.

    Briscoe Peach Jam actionWhen Isaiah Briscoe cut his list to seven schools in late June, Kentucky wasn’t on the list.

    When he listed five schools in early August, Kentucky wasn’t mentioned then, either.

    But here we are in mid-November and the 6-foot-3 Roselle (N.J.) Catholic point guard has just committed to the Wildcats on ESPNU. Kentucky, the preseason No. 1 team and prohibitive favorite to win the 2015 NCAA championship, only began actively recruiting Briscoe in late August.

    “Everything about Kentucky made me want to attend the school,” he said on ESPNU. “Playing with great players as my experience from USA Basketball, I think I can handle playing with great players. And right now Coach Calipari has a machine going on with getting point guards to the NBA, like John WallEric Bledsoe and Derrick Rose. So I could see myself in that mold and being the next point guard to come out of Kentucky.”

    Briscoe reiterated that he won’t sign his NLI until the spring.

    The No. 1-ranked point guard in the nation by 247 Sports composite rankings, Briscoe spurned local schools St. John’s and UConn in favor of playing for coach John Calipari, who has sent 19 players to the NBA in the last five seasons.

    SkalThe somewhat mysterious recruitment of Skal Labissiere has come to an end.

    The 6-foot-10, 210-pound big man from Haiti by way of Memphis committed to Kentucky on Thursday on ESPNU, choosing the Wildcats over hometown Memphis as well as North Carolina, Georgetown, Baylor and Tennessee.

    “Next year, I’ll be a Wildcat at the University of Kentucky,” Labissiere, the No. 11 player in the ESPN100, said on ESPNU. “Since my freshman year, I always wanted to go there. I watched [Coach John Calipari’s] teams with Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel. That’s one of the reasons why I worked so hard in my academics and on the court, because I always wanted to go there.”

    Labissiere, whose guardian Gerald Hamilton has made controversial headlines recently, became Kentucky’s second commit in the Class of 2015, following 6-6 Chicago St. Rita guard Charles Matthews, who is expected to sign on Friday.

    Minutes after Labissiere committed, 6-3 Roselle (N.J.) Catholic point guard Isaiah Briscoe put on a Kentucky hat and chose Big Blue Nation over St. John’s and UConn.

    EnnisThe Phoenix Suns assigned first-round draft picks Tyler Ennis and T.J. Warren to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA D-League.

    Warren was the No. 14 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of N.C. State, and Ennis was No. 18 out of Syracuse.

    The Suns have a logjam at the point guard spot with Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas.

    In April, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Ennis could have used another year in college.

    “I think he’s a great college player,” Boeheim said then. “I think physically he probably could’ve used another year. A little bit different than Dion Waiters who I had a couple of years ago who left. I think Dion was physically better, more physically ready.

    After initially being deemed a non-qualifier earlier this week, St. John’s freshman big man Adonis De La Rosa can now practice with the team while the NCAA hears his appeal, sources told Thursday.

    If St. John’s played him in games and he were ultimately found ineligible, they would have to forfeit any games he participated in. So for now he will just practice.

    St. John’s opens the season Friday night against NJIT.

    Brandon Sampson 5Brandon Sampson, a 6-foot-4, 175-pound shooting guard from Baton Rouge (LA) Madison, has cut his list to five schools, he confirmed to

    Sampson, who averaged 24.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists last season, is down to UCLA, USC, Cal, St. John’s and LSU.

    He said he plans to commit late.

    “I chose not to sign this week because I want to take a step back and look at the five situations and see where I’m most comfortable,” Sampson told

    “I wasn’t sure with everything, so I want to get a better feel for all the colleges I’m looking at so I know what I’m getting into when I do sign.”

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