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.
Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein has recently added a mid-range jumper to his offensive arsenal, and that hasn’t escaped NBA scouts.
One veteran scout told SNY.tv that the 7-foot junior could go as high as No. 2 in the NBA Draft if he can consistently make that shot.
“He’s always been a Top 10 player in the draft based on his ability to be a rim protector and rebounder, but if he can consistently show he can knock down an open 12-15 foot jump shot he can put himself in the discussion as a No. 2 pick.”
Brandon Ingram visited both North Carolina and Duke on Saturday.
The 6-foot-9 Ingram, ranked 12th in the country by ESPN.com, saw both teams win their ACC games.
Ingram first saw North Carolina beat Georgia Tech, 89-60, in a game where the Tar Heels honored the late Dean Smith with the four corners offense.
Then it was off to Duke where the Blue Devils beat Clemson 78-56 in a game where Jahlil Okafor did not play due to an ankle injury. Quinn Cook matched a career high with 27 points and Justise Winslow added 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Thon Maker says he’s “pushing toward” reclassing to 2015 and mentioned Kentucky and Kansas as two of the schools recruiting him the hardest.
“It’s very tough but it’s doable,” the 7-foot Maker told Olgun Uluc of Pickandroll.com at the La Lumiere Classic where he averaged 15.6 points and 6.3 rebounds through three games. “I’m still pushing for , then at the same time I’m getting the support from teachers and my teammates – they’re helping me stay focused so I can get the whole thing finished.
“[Graduation] might lean toward June, but I’m trying to push for  and get it done as soon as I can but also knowing that I can still either stay [in 2016] or go. I’m looking forward to pushing toward 2015.”
NEW YORK — St. John’s held serve at home and kept its NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
In a back-and-forth game played before an electric crowd that featured Lou Carnesecca and Chris Mullin sitting courtside at Carnesecca Arena, the Red Storm held off Seton Hall, 85-72, for their fourth win in their last five games.
The reeling Pirates (15-12, 5-10 Big East), who were once ranked as high as No. 19 in the nation, lost their sixth straight and ninth in 11 outings. They were playing without suspended guard Sterling Gibbs, who is sitting out two games for striking Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono in the head.
Entering the day, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had St. John’s (18-9, 7-7) as the No. 46 seed in the NCAA Tournament and playing a play-in game against N.C. State.
“We just happy to win this game right now, that’s down the line right now,” St. John’s senior Sir’Dominic Pointer, who went for 22 points and 10 rebounds, said of a potential NCAA bid.
Lunardi later said on ESPN that if St. John’s wins its home games this week against Xavier and Georgetown, “Steve Lavin’s boys are going back to the NCAA Tournament.”
“Every year we’re going to be in the [NCAA] Tournament or we’re going to be in the hunt for the Tournament so we’re doing something we’re supposed to be doing,” Lavin said after the Seton Hall win.
Diallo is down to Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa State, St. John’s and Pittsburgh and will commit in the spring.
“Don’t sleep on Kentucky. Kentucky is calling Cheick every day,” a source close to him previously told SNY.tv. “Kansas is calling Cheick every day. Iowa State is working hard for Cheick. It’s going to be very hard for Cheick.”