December 2014 | Page 14 of 21 | 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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Saturday / July 13.

    Last Friday, Matt Townsend scored eight points to help Yale  stun defending NCAA champion UConn in Storrs, Conn.

    Two weeks earlier, the 6-foot-7 Townsend was in New York City, where he became one of 32 American students to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

    Such is the life of a true scholar-athlete.

    “[My] first emotion was shock,” Townsend told of winning the Rhodes. “Being with some really incredible people, a lot of whom were smarter than me, I really wasn’t expecting to win the scholarship. So when my name was called, I was in disbelief. My second emotion was just gratitude for everyone that’s been supporting me. It kind of felt like a basketball win, it was a team win, just my coaches, my teammates, all my professors and academic advisors. I really felt like we all won something together.”


    NEW YORK  – Playing as a ranked team for the first time since 2011, No. 24 St. John’s avoided a letdown from Saturday’s win at Syracuse and beat Fairleigh Dickinson, 74-52, Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena.

    D’Angelo Harrison led the way for the Red Storm (7-1) with 26 points, 17 of which came in the second half.

    “We just looked at it as another game,” Harrison said. ”Just another opportunity to get better.”

    NCAA Basketball: Orlando Classic-Kansas vs Rhode IslandBy BRENDAN McGAIR

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. – There were six NBA scouts lined up on the baseline Wednesday night for the annual Ocean State showdown between Providence College and the University of Rhode Island.

    There’s no question that representatives from Detroit, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Memphis, Orlando and Philadelphia left with a boatload of notes concerning URI sophomore E.C. Matthews. For a player who has been mentioned in 2015 NBA mock draft lists since the summer, the youngster from Detroit did little to diminish his status with a game-best 27 points in the Rams’ 68-60 loss to their in-state rivals.

    It was clear that Matthews – last season’s Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year – was the best player on the floor.

    BRADLEY 0606 AD1 150 (1)


    Tony Bradley has been offered by North Carolina a week after scoring 36 points in front of Roy Williams in a 74-56 win over Auburndale. Bradley is one of the top players in Florida regardless of class.

    At 6-foot-10, the Class of 2016 big man from Bartow (FL) is very efficient around the basket, with extremely good hands and touch. While not overly explosive, he runs the floor very well, rebounds to his size and can step out and hit the foul line jumper. 

    NEW YORK — As a native New Yorker and longtime Big East guy, Rick Pitino was sad to see Louisville leave the league.

    But despite the departures of Louisville, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame to the ACC, the Big East is doing just fine right now.

    The league has three Top 25 teams in No. 7 Villanova, No. 15 Butler and No. 24 St. John’s. Seton Hall had been unbeaten before Tuesday  night’s loss at Wichita State.

    Four of the top 30 teams in the KenPom rankings are Big East schools as well — No. 6 Villanova, No. 20 Georgetown, No. 26 St. John’s and No. 28 Butler.

    NEW YORK — Count Villanova coach Jay Wright among those not in favor of the Big Ten hosting their postseason tournament at Madison Square Garden in 2018.

    As an old-school Big East guy, Wright wants New York to belong to the Big East — and not any other leagues — during March.

    “I would rather them not,” Wright told Tuesday night at the Jimmy V following the Wildcats’ 73-59 victory over Illinois. “I like when the Big East owns New York.”

    He added: “I’m never worried about whether the Big East is better than anybody else, but we’re definitely different. This is our home. People in the Big East have been coming to the Garden for 30 years. We always do it, and we always will.”

    Duke doesn’t play again until Monday, and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is clearly using this week to recruit.

    This past Monday, Coach K and assistants Jeff Capel and Jon Scheyer visited 2016 guard Tyus Battle at Gill St. Bernard’s.

    And on Tuesday, Coach K and Scheyer were in the stands to watch 2016 St. Louis Chaminade guard Jayson Tatum, the No. 1 player in the Class according to 247Sports composite rankings.

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