February 2015 | Page 11 of 20 | 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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Thursday / August 11.
  • By ADAM ZAGORIA & CHRIS RUSSELL

    NEW YORK — John Calipari came to the Nike Zoom City Arena in lower Manhattan on Sunday to show love for Kentucky-bound point guard Isaiah Briscoe and uncommitted forward Cheick Diallo.

    But the Kentucky coach left talking about Roselle Catholic’s splendid 6-foot-10 freshman Naz Reid.

    “[Calipari] asked me to point him out [before the game],” RC coach Dave Boff told SNY.tv after Reid went for 4 points and 7 rebounds and wowed the crowd as RC beat Our Savior New American, 63-59, in the pre-All-Star Game event.

    “He’s like, ‘He’s so skilled for a big guy. For a freshman to be that coordinated it’s pretty remarkable.'”

    Calipari has already drawn big men Dakari Johnson and Karl-Anthony Towns out of New Jersey, and it’s not hard to imagine Kentucky getting involved for Reid, who still has three more years of high school remaining.

    HilliardBy CHRIS RUSSELL

    Villanova senior guard Darrun Hilliard has been named the ZAGSBLOG National Player of the Week.

    On Saturday, the 6-foot-6 guard had arguably his best game of his career. Hilliard scored 31 points while connecting on 8 three-pointers. When the game the came down to the wire, the senior delivered a trey with 1.5 seconds left in the contest to give Villanova a 68-65 victory at No. 18 Butler.

    “I guess I played very good,” he told reporters. “Obviously there are some improvements I can make. Offensively, I was getting open looks and my teammates did a good job of getting me the ball, setting screens. They did the hard work.”

    On Wednesday against Providence, Hilliard scored 16 points in a 74-68 victory.

    Briscoe Our SaviorBy CHRIS RUSSELL & ADAM ZAGORIA

    NEW YORK — A few hours before watching his current NBA All-Stars, Kentucky coach John Calipari sat courtside at the Nike Zoom City Arena in lower Manhattan watching a couple players he hopes follow the All-Star path.

    In a nationally televised game played in a state-of-the-art basketball facility featuring a full-sized LED basketball court that brings graphics and video to life, Kentucky-bound point guard Isaiah Briscoe went for 29 points as Roselle (N.J.) Catholic took out Kentucky target Cheick Diallo and Our Savior New American, 63-59.

    Cal-BriscoeNEW YORK — Kentucky coach John Calipari and St. John’s coach Steve Lavin are among those expected on Sunday when Cheick Diallo and Our Savior New American meet Isaiah Briscoe and Roselle Catholic at the Nike Zoom Arena in lower Manhattan.

    The game will air live on Fox Sports 2 at 2 p.m., with a replay later on Fox Sports.

    Both the uncommitted 6-foot-9 Diallo and the 6-3 Kentucky-bound Briscoe are McDonald’s All-Americans. Diallo is coming off a 23-point dunkest Friday night in a rout of Linden (N.J.) at the Metro Classic at Kean University.

    “Tonight, their big kid [Diallo], we had no answer for him,” Linden head coach Phil Colicchio told Antonio Olivero of The Star-Ledger.

    “Our kids worked their butts off and we got after it defensively. But as we are rotating on defense the ball is up over our heads. We couldn’t stop that with a 6-foot-9 McDonald’s All-American.”

    NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at ProvidenceBy BRENDAN McGAIR

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Despite all the turbulence surrounding his Seton Hall team this week, Kevin Willard’s crew had an actual honest-to-goodness chance to defeat Providence on Saturday night.

    The quest to return to playing winning basketball will have to wait a little bit longer as the Pirates dropped a 69-62 decision to the Friars at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

    Seton Hall led 48-47 with 5:40 left as PC played close to six minutes with key sophomore Kris Dunn, who sat with four fouls. Dunn’s re-entry helped galvanize the Friars, who hit seven of their final eight shots.

    BWB MasaiNEW YORK — A slew of NBA executives and scouts are on hand at Manhattan’s Baruch College this weekend for the first-ever Basketball without Borders (BWB) Global Camp.

    College coaches are not permitted into the camp, which is being run by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and features 39 campers from 23 countries. The camp will become an annual All-Star tradition.

    The campers, ages 16-18 and coming from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, are training with select NBA and FIBA players and coaches including Danilo Gallinari (Denver Nuggets; Italy; BWB Europe 2003), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal; BWB Africa 2009), Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder; New Zealand), and Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs; Brazil).

    Jamal Murray actionNEW YORK — Jamal Murray, the 6-foot-5 lead guard from Orangeville Prep (Ontario), has arguably been the most impressive guard at the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp at Manhattan’s Baruch College.

    “He has it all,” one of the many NBA scouts in attendance for the three-day camp told SNY.tv.

    Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com Tweeted, “Jamal Murray is getting better and better. Making some great passes here, playing at different speeds, active on defense. And what a stroke.”

    College coaches are not permitted into the camp, which is being run by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and features 39 campers from 23 countries, including four Canadians.

    Murray, who was not made available to the media, is familiar with AAU-type settings from his time with Canadian power CIA Bounce and had no trouble taking charge of a team that includes potential future pros in Croatian 7-footer Dragan Bender and Australian 7-footer Isaac Humphries.