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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 / December 1.
  • St. BensSt. Benedict’s Prep has played in the ESPN national high school basketball tournament virtually every years since its inception.

    And this year the Gray Bees are once again hoping for an invite to the event, now known as the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament, which runs in New York April 2-4.

    Traditionally, national powers like Montverde (FL) Academy, Huntington (W.V.) Prep, Henderson (NV) Findlay Prep and Oak Hill (VA) Academy are among those playing in the event.

    Devonte GreenDevonte Green, a 6-foot-2 2016 combo guard from Long Island Lutheran, visited Rutgers on Sunday and took in Indiana’s 84-54 beatdown of the Scarlet Knights.

    “It was his first time meeting Eddie Jordan, the head coach, and he offered,” Danny Green Sr. told SNY.tv.

    Rutgers assistant Greg “Shoes” Vetrone had previously offered Green and has made him a high priority in 2016. Green is averaging 18 points, 7 rebound, 4 assists and 3 steals for Long Island Lutheran.

    “They were showing him the offense they run and they like to use 2-3 guards,” Danny Sr. said. “They don’t have anybody designated as a point guard or an off guard. [Jordan] was saying it’s the same offense he was running in the NBA and it’s a guard-controlled offense.”

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    Henderson (NV) Findlay Prep point guard Derryck Thornton has several upcoming visits and is still considering reclassifying to 2015 from 2016, his father told SNY.tv on Monday.

    “We just went to Duke, we’re going to go to Cal-Berkeley, we’re going to go to Miami and we’re going to go to Louisville March 7,” Tank Thornton said. “Miami and Cal will be after the season, like in April.”

    Findlay Prep plans to finish its season at the ESPN NHSI, which runs April 2-4 in New York.

    As for reclassification, Tank Thornton said both Duke and Louisville had inquired about having Derryck reclass to 2015 and that he only needs one more class to make it happen.

    CainEli Cain, the 6-foot-6, 200-pound St. Benedict’s Prep guard, is planning upcoming visits to Iona and DePaul, he told SNY.tv.

    Cain will visit DePaul March 3-4 and Iona March 13-14. Selection Sunday is March 15 and as of today Joe Lunardi has Iona in the field of 68 as an automatic qualifier out of the MAAC. Andrew Slater of 247Sports.com first reported the DePaul visit date.

    Cain is also still considering Delaware along with Wagner.

    DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell and assistant Billy Garrett recently saw Cain when St Benedict’s lost to LSU-bound Ben Simmons and Montverde (FL) Academy at the Metro Classic.

    “DePaul was at the Montverde game and they pretty much offered,” St. Benedict’s coach Mark Taylor said. “They’re serious.”

    Meantime, Iona associate head coach Jared Grasso saw Cain on Tuesday when St. Benedict’s won their game convincingly.

    Tyus Battle

    Tyus Battle is down to seven schools.

    The 6-foot-6, five-star combo guard out of Gladstone (N.J.) Gill St. Bernard’s cut his list to Louisville, UConn, Michigan, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Duke.

    Surprisingly, Kentucky was cut from the list, along with Florida, Villanova and Virginia.

    “We had some core values and we have some particulars on how they wanted to play him,” Gary Battle, the player’s father, told SNY.tv by phone on Monday. “He was really big on that, how they were going to play him. He wanted to have the opportunity to play on the ball and play off the ball. If a school for the most part told him he wasn’t going to have an opportunity to play on the ball, and he was going to have to play on the wing, they got cut. Even if they told us they were going to and we didn’t see it in their system — we watched a lot of basketball — we cut them. 

    WiltjerBy CHRIS RUSSELL

    Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer has been named the ZAGSBLOG National Player of the Week.

    The Kentucky transfer went on a tear against Pacific on Thursday, scoring a career-high 45 points on 15-for-22 shooting, including a near perfect 8-for-9 from three-point land.

    “I was just in the zone,” Wiltjer told reporters. “My teammates just got me the ball. I wasn’t thinking of it and it just happened.”

    Wiltjer followed up with 16 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday night’s comeback road victory over St. Mary’s. With the victory, Gonzaga has extended their winning-streak to 21 and claimed the outright WCC regular season championship.