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Wednesday / March 22.
  • Jamal Murray Leads World Team Over USA in Nike Hoop Summit

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    1428798253Canadian point guard Jamal Murray led the World Team to the Nike Hoop Summit championship on Saturday in Portland, Ore.

    The 6-foot-5, 205-pound point guard out of Orangeville Prep and the CIA Bounce AAU team went for 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting and 5 assists as the World Team beat the US. team, 103-101.

    The World scoring record of 34 belongs to Enes Kanter.

    “Jamal Murray was the best guard on the floor today for either team,” ESPN2’s Fran Fraschilla said on air.

    Kentucky-bound 7-foot-1 big man Skal Labissiere of Haiti, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, made 1-of-2 free throws with 12 seconds remaining and finished with 21 points and 6 rebounds for the World, which won for the third time in four tries.

    LSU-bound forward Ben Simmons of Australia– who one scout told SNY.tv would be a lottery pick this year — added 13 points, 9 assists and 9 boards for the World. Simmons also got a key block on Duke-bound Luke Kennard in the final seconds on a shot that would’ve tied the game.

    Kennard scored 22 points for Team USA. Kentucky-bound point guard Isaiah Briscoe had 9 points and 8 assists.

    Murray went for 16 points and 4 assists as the World took a 47-44 halftime lead.

    Murray, who is considering reclassing to 2015 from 2016, continued a strong spring in which he also wowed NBA personnel at the Basketball Without Borders Camp at the NBA All-Star Game.

    “I think a lot of [NBA] people have felt the same thing, that he’s improved from Hoop Summit [in 2014],” Mark Bayne, Canada’s Nike rep, told me in February. “I think a lot of people were surprised last year that he did so well at the Hoop Summit and seeing him now again, he still looks very good.”

    While there has been much speculation that Murray could opt to reclass to the Class of 2015 from 2016, his father told SNY.tv that right now the plan is to remain in 2016.

    “As for now he’s 2016,” Roger Murray told SNY.tv. “If everything lines up for 2015, so it be.”

    As far as recruiting, Roger said he’s talking to “10-15 schools,” including Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Louisville, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Oregon and Wake Forest. Kentucky has also been in touch.

    “I’m not sure when the deadline [to reclass] is, that’s something we are going to have to talk about off the court and just go over out options,” Jamal told OregonLive.com before the Hoop Summit.

    Canada has produced back-to-back No. 1 NBA Draft picks in Anthony Bennett (Findlay Prep/UNLV) and Andrew Wiggins (Huntington Prep/Kansas), as well as numerous other players, including Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Ennis.

    Murray appears to be the next in line of strong Canuck ballers en route to the NBA.

    “I think so, I think so,” Baynes said, “as long as he stays on the path and puts in the work.”


    Photo: Cameron Browne/USA Basketball

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.