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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.
  • Jamal Murray action 2By JOSH NEWMAN

    For three quarters on Friday night, Kentucky freshman point guard Jamal Murray was quiet for the Canadian National Team in a Pan American Games semifinal against the United States.

    Then, the 18-year-old erupted.

    Murray scored all of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to help Canada defeat the United States, 111-108, in front of a pro-Canada crowd at the Ryerson Athletic Center in Toronto.

    Kentucky coach John Calipari, who landed the 6-foot-5 Murray in June after he reclassified to the Class of 2015 from 2016, was understandably pleased.

    Steve Nash was also highly impressed by Murray.

    Jamal MurrayBy JOSH NEWMAN

    The Canadian National Team’s best finish at a Pan American Games is fourth in 1983 and it has not sniffed a medal at the event since.

    That is about to change. Brady Heslip led four players in double-figures with 20 points, Kentucky freshman point guard Jamal Murray added 14, five rebounds and five turnovers, and Canada registered an 89-69 win over Mexico Thursday night.

    Canada finishes 3-0 in Pool B and will play the United States on Friday in one semifinal. The Americans lost, 93-83, Thursday to Pool A winner Brazil, which will face the Dominican Republic in the other semifinal.

    “It’s now a four-team tournament and our focus has to turn to that right away,” said Canada head coach Jay Triano, a Trail Blazers assistant. “The experience so far has been great for our young players and we can take away a lot of positives.”

    635720432622401281-usatsi-8392229Transferring Memphis forward Austin Nichols will visit Virginia this weekend, his father confirmed to SNY.tv.

    The news was first reported by CBSSports.com.

    The report says Nichols — who was recently granted a release — may also visit Kansas.

    Nichols averaged 13.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this past season.

    Andre RafusAndre Rafus is coming to New Jersey this year, but will attend Roselle (N.J.) Catholic instead of St. Benedict’s Prep.

    “Just thought it was the best fit,” the 6-foot-9, 190-pound Class of 2017 forward  from Baltimore St. Frances told SNY.tv.

    Rafus consulted with Kentucky freshman guard Isaiah Briscoe, who finished up at Roselle, winning the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title in March, after starting his career at St. Benedict’s in Newark.

    Canada is now 2-0 in the Pan-Am Games thanks to a big-time comeback against traditional power Argentina.

    Andrew Nicholson of the Orlando Magic finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, incoming Kentucky point guard Jamal Murray scored 20 points and Anthony Bennett of the Minnesota Timberwolves added 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists as the Canucks beat Argentina, 88-83, on Wednesday night in Toronto.

    Canada is now in control of Group B at 2-0 and plays Mexico next.

    Mohammed BambaBy JOSH NEWMAN

    BURLINGTON, N.J. – Mohamed Bamba appears to be savvier then your average high-school junior.

    When the 6-foot-11 2017 star out of Westtown (Pa.) School and the PSA Cardinals sees former Kentucky forwards like Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein having big years and going to the NBA Draft, he imagines himself doing the same thing.

    “What’s appealing is the guys who went to Kentucky that are sort of like me,” Bamba said at Battle of the Borders Wednesday evening at Burlington City High School. “The stretch four, a 6-11 shot-blocker. What’s appealing is how those guys can have a really effective year and go right to the league.”

    trevon-duvalBy JOSH NEWMAN

    BURLINGTON, N.J. – A five-star point guard out of St. Benedict’s Prep, Trevon Duval has a had a big month of July, highlighted by MVP honors at the SC Select Camp and a strong showing at the UAA Finals earlier this month.

    Duval’s ascension continued on Wednesday evening here at Burlington City High School when he helped pace his We R1 squad to a 67-66 overtime win over the PSA Cardinals at the Battle of the Borders’ showcase night.

    As has been the case all month, Duval played Wednesday in front of a bevy of major college coaches including Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon, Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard, Washington’s Lorenzo Romar, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, St. John’s assistant Matt Abdelmassih and Kentucky assistant John Robic.

    “I do know that the coaches are out there and watching,” Duval said. “They don’t tell you which coaches are coming, but you know that they’re there. It’s a crazy feeling.”

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