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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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Saturday / September 30.
  • Screen_Shot_2015-07-01_at_1.02.10_PMKassoum Yakwe has been named the the Nike EYBL Defensive Player of the Year and is targeting a July decision on his future plans.

    The 6-foot-7, 205-pound forward from the PSA Cardinals and Our Savior New American averaged 3.1 blocks and 6.3 rebounds per game en route to the award.

    He is the second straight player from the PSA Cardinals program to win Defensive Player of the Year honors, following incoming Kansas freshman Cheick Diallo.

    “Last year I didn’t have the chance to play a lot because there we had older players, and that was their last go in the EYBL,” Yakwe told HardwoodInsiders.com. “I understood all of that. I got to learn a lot from those players and my coaches.”

    INDIANPOLIS, IN -  APRIL 25, 2015 -  adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis at Best Choice Fieldhouse in Indianpolis, Indiana. (Photos by Kelly Kline/Adidas)

    College coaches will flock to see Rawle Alkins and his NY Rens teammate Mustapha Heron in July. (Photos by Kelly Kline/Adidas)

    With the July live period set to begin next week around the nation, college coaches will soon be converging on the NY Rens AAU team featuring 2016 stars Rawle Alkins and Mustapha Heron.

    Beginning next week and over the following three weeks, the Rens will attend the adidas Gauntlet Finale in Suwanee, Ga.; the adidas Uprising All-American Camp in Long Island; and then the adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas (formerly the Super 64).

    “I think [college coaches] are there more to let know Rawle and Mustapha know that they’re there,” Rens director Andy Borman told The 4 Quarters Podcast on Wednesday.

    “For Rawle, obviously St. John’s is going to make him a priority. I haven’t spoken to any of the guys form Kentucky but I’ve spoken to Rawle and his family and Kentucky has said that they’ll be out there. [North] Carolina will be out there. I know Tom Crean and Indiana will be out there….From what I’ve heard, essentially everyone on Rawle’s list will be out there.”

    St. John’s coach Chris Mullin and his staff have prioritized Alkins and Heron as two critical pieces in their focus on the Class of 2016, but they have competition from virtually everybody.

    13_mu16_giles_posedBy JOSH NEWMAN

    As expected, the United States Under-19 National Team is rolling through the FIBA World Championship in Greece.

    Argentina became the Americans’ latest victim on Wednesday morning as Class of 2016 star Harry Giles scored 17 points to go along with 12 rebounds in a 93-45 win in the Round of 16 at Heraklion Arena.

    With the victory, the U.S. (4-0) advances to play Friday in the medal round quarterfinal versus 3-1 Italy (11:15 a.m. EDT and televised by ESPNU at 1:30 p.m. EDT). Italy beat the Dominican Republic, 82-72.

    “I felt great; I tried to pick up the tempo,” Giles said. “It started on the defensive end, just blocking shots and rebounding, and I tried to use that to help me get going offensively and help my team, just help with the energy of the team.

    “The focus was just go out there and win because we didn’t want to go home. We didn’t travel this far to lose. I just went out there and played hard, and played the way USA should.”

    Georgios-Papagiannis-Greek-U19Georgios Papagiannis, a 7-foot-1, 260-pound center playing for Greek club Panathinaikos, is still weighing whether or not to play for an American college next season, but is focusing on four schools, according to a report from Luke Winn of SI.com.

    Papagiannis told SI.com he’s committed to making a decision soon—possibly by the July 5 conclusion of the U19s—but he hasn’t fully committed to the NCAAs. “There’s a chance I’ll stay here, and there’s a chance I’ll go there,” he said. “I have made a list with four schools: N.C. State, Kentucky, St. John’s and Oregon.”

    Those college fanbases, as you can expect, are salivating over the idea of adding a potential one-and-done center. St. John’s would make up for the loss of shot-blocker Chris Obekpa, and add to an intriguing international recruiting class that already includes Italian point guard Federico Mussini and Spanish power forward Yankuba Sima. Kentucky would get a low-post presence to pair with potential 2016 No. 1 draft pick Skal Labissiere. N.C. State would get a more reliable low-block scorer to pair with point guard Cat Barber. And guard-and-wing rich Oregon, which has a projected starting lineup with no one taller than 6’7″, is desperate for a true center.

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