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.
NEWARK –– Despite missing the previous nine games with a foot injury, Isaiah Whitehead looked like he hadn’t missed a beat in Seton Hall’s 90-82 victory over Xavier at the Prudential Center on Saturday.
Whitehead, playing in his first-ever Big East game, poured in 19 points off the bench in 23 minutes of action, and he might have played a bit longer if it wasn’t for foul trouble. He also grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists and collected three steals as he made his presence well known on the defensive end. Whitehead, along with Sterling Gibbs, helped seal the victory at the foul line in the final few minutes as he finished 8-for-10 from the charity stripe.
“Honestly it looked like he never left,” Xavier coach Chris Mack told reporters of Whitehead.
“This was about getting my feet wet, and once I got my confidence back, the sky was the limit,” Whitehead said, according to Jerry Carino. “It felt great just to see my team with that emotion, playing their hearts out, and we got the win. It was a great day.”
“Absolutely,” one NBA scout told SNY.tv. “[That’s his] best chance of possibly being drafted.”
Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com agrees. He Tweeted: “Gotta think D-League is the best option. I doubt there’s a big market in Europe right now.”
Although no sources were cited, Mike Ortiz Jr. of Dystnow.com reported that Sulaimon plans to graduate from Duke and “pursue” the D-League next year. Duke says Sulaimon remains in good academic standing and is expected to finish the spring semester.
The D-League path worked out for both Hairston and, to a lesser degree, Glen Rice Jr.
St. John’s sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan, who is listed as day-to-day with a knee injury, got himself into hot water with a homophobic Tweet and has since taken down the post and apologized.
“I apologize for the language I used on Twitter in a conversation with my friends,” Jordan, who has yet to do an interview with the St. John’s media during his two years at the school, said in a statement provided by the school. “It was insensitive and something I regret because I did not mean to hurt anyone.”
St. John’s says that “Inappropriate and offensive messages in any form are unacceptable in accordance with the University’s student code of conduct. Matters like this are taken seriously and addressed internally per University policy for all student conduct issues. We place a priority on educating our students to being sensitive in a diverse world.”
It’s been quite a day of payback for DeMarcus Cousins.
Several hours after calling out writer Clay Travis on Twitter, Cousins was named by Commissioner Adam Silver to the NBA All-Star Game as a replacement for Kobe Bryant. The All-Star Game is set for Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
Cousins, who will make his first NBA All-Star Game appearance, ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring (23.8 ppg) and third in rebounding (12.3 rpg). Over the last 20 years, only five players — David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Kevin Love — have averaged at least 23.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in a season. Cousins is the first Kings’ All-Star since 2004.
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, who will coach the West squad because the Warriors clinched the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 1, will determine who replaces Bryant in the starting lineup.