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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 / July 7.
  • OkaforThe U.S. Basketball Writers Association named 15 finalists for the 2015 Oscar Robertson Trophy, to be presented to the association’s national player of the year.

    The award will be presented at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

    Among the finalists are five seniors, six juniors, one sophomore and two freshmen.

    Oscar Robertson Trophy Finalists

    Ron Baker, Wichita State

    Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

    Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky

    hilliard-1NEW YORK — With only a handful of games left in the regular season, Villanova senior guard Darrun Hilliard appears to be a virtual lock for Big East Player of the Year honors.

    In an informal poll of Big East head coaches, more than half told SNY.tv that the 6-foot-6 guard would get their vote. Providence’s Kris Dunn, Providence’s LaDontae Henton and Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono each garnered at least one vote. (Villanova coach Jay Wright cannot vote for his own player.)

    The Player of the Year traditionally goes to the best player on the best team and Hilliard fits that description perfectly. He’s averaging 14.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists for a Villanova team that is 26-2 overall, 13-2 in the Big East and would be a No. 2 seed if the NCAA Tournament started today, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.

    Jones CourtFormer Louisville point guard Chris Jones pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of rape and sodomy of two different women.

    Jones, 23, appeared in Jefferson District Court before Judge Sheila Collins. He was released on home incarceration instead of a $25,000 bond.

    From the Louisville Courier Journal:

    The warrant, signed Wednesday by Jefferson District Judge Katie King, says that one of the women was hospitalized Sunday and able to identify Jones as her assailant. One of the women is 19 and the other 20, according to the warrant.

    A second warrant says Jones, along with two other people, forced a woman to have intercourse and oral sex. She also identified Jones as a U of L player, according to the warrant. She was taken to University of Louisville Hospital, where she was treated.

    Those defendants have been arrested and are to be arraigned Thursday morning in Jefferson County Jail. Jessie Halladay, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office , identified them as Tyvon Walker and Jalen Tilford. Walker was charged with one count of rape and Tilford with one count of rape and one count of sodomy.

    OkaforAfter missing Saturday’s game against Clemson with an ankle injury, Jahlil Okafor didn’t miss a beat in his return.

    Despite being a game-time decision, the projected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft went for 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting, including 4 points in overtime, and added 9 rebounds as No. 4 Duke fended off a pesky Virginia Tech team, 91-86, in Blacksburg, Va.

    It was just the sixth 30-point outing ever for a Duke freshman.

    “My coaches had told me to let them know if I wanted to play or not,” he said, according to NewsObserver.com. “Once I got in the locker room and say my teammates get ready, there was no way I wasn’t playing today.”

    “If he would have said, ‘I don’t think so,’ then we wouldn’t have played him,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “And we would have lost.”

    BY JEREMY FUCHS

    Tyus Battle

    GLADSTONE, N.J. — Tyus Battle played only a few minutes for Gill St. Bernard’s in front of coaches John Beilein of Michigan and Mike Brey of Notre Dame after suffering what coach Mergin Sina called a foot injury. The 6-foot-6 Battle only took a few shots and did not score a point.

    Battle, who did not start against St. Benedict’s because it was Gill’s Senior Night, played a few minutes before walking off into the locker room, where he spent the remainder of the game and did not speak to media.

    “He has a foot issue,” Sina told SNY.tv. “But I haven’t talked to the trainers.”

    There was no word yet on the extent of the injury or if any additional time will be missed for the junior guard. He missed the first portion of the season with a stress fracture in his foot before debuting Jan. 31.

    https://vine.co/v/O2bBwaBjBgq

    Despite being down by 20 points, Kentucky-bound point guard Isaiah Briscoe and his Roselle Catholic teammates are headed to the Union County (N.J.) championship game on Saturday night.

    Briscoe scored a season-high 34 points before fouling out of a 78-74 win over St. Mary’s of Elizabeth in the Union County semifinals on Wednesday night at Kean University. He remains 3 points shy of 2,000 for his career but can easily pass that threshold during Senior Night at Roselle on Thursday when RC hosts Union Catholic.

    “Isaiah along with the rest of our guys really stepped up and made plays in the second half,” RC coach Dave Boff told SNY.tv. “He went and got us big buckets when we needed them. Every time it looked like they were going to put us away he was able to get a score and keep us within striking distance.”

    IMG_7531By JACK LeGWIN

    LAKELAND, Fla. Trent Forrest , a 6-foot-3 2016 shooting guard from Chipley (FL), has turned many heads during the season, but he made a statement in the Florida state tournament, averaging 32.5 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in two wins over Malone and Hawthorne.

    “It feels great,” Forrest told SNY.tv after the state championship win over Hawthorne in which he scored 26 points, grabbed 11 boards and added in 7 assists. “It feels great to come here and actually win one. It’s really just amazing.”

    The No. 32 ranked junior in the nation by 247 Sports, Forrest scored 39 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in front of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and assistant Mike Balado and in a win over Malone in the state semifinals.

    “One of the assistants texted me after the game,” Forrest said. “I didn’t even know that Coach Pitino or the assistants were here to be honest. But it’s definitely a good look because he’s one of the best coaches in all of the NCAA.”