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.
UNIONVILLE, ONTARIO — Thon Maker wasn’t able to attend Kansas’ 69-64 victory over Texas on Saturday because he was busy playing in the Bill Crothers Invitational Showcase here.
The 7-foot Maker went for 16 points in Orangeville Prep’s 74-59 win over Thetford Academy (Quebec).
“We were going to visit Kansas today but we had already made the commitment to play in this tournament, so that got postponed,” Maker told OnPointBasketball.com and SNY.tv. “Indiana is another school that I plan on visiting soon.”
Emmanuel Mudiay hadn’t played a game for the Chinese Basketball Association’s Guangdong Southern Tigers since Nov. 23, but that didn’t matter much on Sunday morning.
With Guangdong trailing Stephon Marbury and Beijing Ducks, 2-0, in a best-of-5 CBA semifinal series, Chinese online media company Sina.com reported Guangdong was reactivating Mudiay in an effort to save the season.
The move panned out on Sunday as Mudiay scored 24 points on 8-for-19 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, four assists and four steals in a 110-99 Guangdong win.
Mudiay, a 6-foot-5 Congolese-American point guard out of controversial Dallas charter school Prime Prep, decided to forego a scholarship to SMU in favor of signing for $1.2 million with Guangdong. He played in 10 games, 17.7 points, six rebounds and six assists before suffering a sprained ankle. He was replaced on Guangdong by veteran NBA guard Will Bynum, who is coincidentally being paired with in an effort to save the season.
NEW YORK – On the backs of its senior class, St. John’s appears to have locked up a spot in the NCAA Tournament thanks to an 81-70 win over Georgetown on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Fifty of those 81 points came from seniors Sir’Dominic Pointer and Phil Greene IV on a day when classmate D’Angelo Harrison scored just one point. Those three seniors have been through a lot in four years at St. John’s, so Saturday very much served as something of a culmination of their hard work.
Still, Red Storm head coach Steve Lavin will allow his mind to wander sometimes. He will go back four years ago when his vaunted 2011 recruiting class first came together. Led by a boatload of four-star recruits including Harrison and Pointer, Rivals ranked the class No. 3 nationally and great things were expected. He will even go back to last year when 2011 recruit JaKarr Sampson bolted to the NBA, and even three years ago when classmate Moe Harkless did the same.
“Can you imagine? Two NBA players running around with this group?” Lavin said. “It would be pretty special. Talk about a margin for error, ours would be second-to-none. Obviously, Kentucky has the most, but other than three or four programs this year, we’d be right behind them.”
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Powered by a game-high 26 points from A.J. English and the return of defensive-minded elastic man Isaiah Williams, Iona beat arch-rival Manhattan for a second time this season and could be a problem come March.
With their 79-75 victory, Iona has won 11 straight overall and improved to 13-0 at the Hynes Center this season. They were already locked in as the No. 1 seed in the upcoming MAAC Tournament and ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Gaels (24-6, 17-2 MAAC) as a 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
“I think Iona does things that nobody else in the country does, and that’s why they’re so dangerous in a tournament, one game, no preparation,” said Manhattan coach Steve Masiello, who would just as soon avoid a third meeting with the Gaels in the MAAC Tournament. “I think we do things that no one else in the country does, that’s why we could be so dangerous in a one-game, but it’s all about the matchup.