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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 12.
  • Rhody-winsBy VIN PARISE

    KINGSTON, R.I. — When you go back and research a coach’s rebuilding job at a school, there’s the inevitable first question.

    Who were the first big time recruits to buy in?

    But after recruiting classes are established, there has to eventually be progress.

    “It’s great to talk about it and have good buzz, but eventually we have to show improvement this year on the court and that’s when people truly buy in,” Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley told me in October at Atlantic-10 Media Day.

    Saturday night was one of those nights. In front of a sellout crowd of nearly 7,000 fans at The Ryan Center, URI knocked off No. 21 Nebraska, 66-62, in a great battle that was shown on SNY. Students stormed the court after the win.

    WoodBy CHRIS RUSSELL

    NEW YORK —  A day after losing to Stanford by 29 points, UNLV bounced back with a 57-50 Victory over the Temple Owls at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Barclays Center.

    Much of UNLV’s success came from the courageous performance of 6-foot-11 sophomore Christian Wood, who went for 18 points on 8-for-15 shooting and 13 rebounds.

    “We got to the locker room [at halftime] and the team told me I had to grab more rebounds, had to play harder and that they need me to play harder,” Wood said.

    With close to 50 NBA personnel on hand, the forward from Long Beach, Calif., left a good impression.

    By ARTHUR WARNER-KAMSLER

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — On Friday night, JaQuan Lyle should have been playing for the Oregon Ducks as they took on Toledo.

    Instead, he started for IMG Academy in the National Prep Showcase at Albertus Magnus College.

    Lyle, a 6-foot-5, 215 pound combo guard, scored 17 points and added two rebounds and two assists for IMG, where he is taking a postgraduate year after not being admitted to Oregon.

    In what has been a hectic couple of months for Lyle, he is focused on figuring out where he will take his last couple of official visits.

    Okafor DukeBy CHRIS RUSSELL

    NEW YORK —  There will be a Duke reunion in tonight’s Coaches vs. Cancer championship game at Barclays Center.

    No. 4 Duke, led by legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, will face Stanford, coached by Johnny Dawkins, Coach K’s former protégé.

    “First of all, I’m proud of Johnny,” Coach K said after Duke beat Temple, 74-54, Friday night. “They’re an outstanding team. They’re big, they’re huge. Johnny has a really good system, how he uses them. I’d rather not play him. He’s part of our family. It’s too bad we have to play one another, that’s the way it is.”

    Freshman center Jahlil Okafor, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, had 16 points and eight rebounds in Duke’s win. Quinn Cook scored 17 points to go with five rebounds and freshman wing Justise Winslow tallied 15 points.

    Dave RiceBy CHRIS RUSSELL

    NEW YORK — A week after receiving a commitment from Radnor (PA) Archbishop Carroll small forward Derrick Jones, UNLV took on Stanford in the first game of the Coaches vs Cancer Classic at Barclays Center.

    From the early going, Stanford was in command and would rout the Runnin’ Rebels, 89-60, in a one-sided contest.

    Stanford (3-0) will face No. 4 Duke (4-0) in the championship game Saturday at 9:30 p.m., a game in which Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins will square off against his former coach, Mike Krzyzewski.

    The Cardinal jumped out to an early 12-0 lead and never looked back. Stanford controlled the tempo and shot 9-for-13 from behind the arc, giving them a comfortable 52-29 lead going into the half. The Cardinal outrebounded the Rebels, 47-29. UNLV often looked lost and non-cohesive, allowing the Cardinal to shoot 14-for-20 from behind the arc.

    Ivan RabbNEW YORK — Ivan Rabb, the 6-foot-10 2015 big man from Oakland (CA) Bishop O’Dowd and the Oakland Soldiers, told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that Cal now ranks in the top three of his remaining five schools.

    That group includes Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona and UCLA along with Cal. Rabb plans to sign in the spring.

    Rabb told Goodman that he has the best relationship with Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin among the five schools, and that he plans to visit Cal again at some point with fellow big man Caleb Swanigan of Indiana.

    “I think it’s a great place to play,” Martin, speaking generally about Cal, said after his team lost in the final of the 2K Classic to No. 10 Texas, 71-55, at Madison Square Garden. “If I was a ballplayer, outside of Purdue I’d love to play at Cal-Berkeley.”

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